So, quick news before I get down to business…
Friday night was my friend’s first fight (we’ll call her Belle…she kind of looks like Belle from Beauty and the Beast…this is Turtle’s fiancée)…and she kicked butt. Literally. I drove an hour to watch a killer minute and a half round and I’m super proud of her! Yay!
Saturday was the Wine Walk on Delaware. While it didn’t to much for my current diet, I made some good connections and had as much fun as I do any time I get to talk about wine for several hours straight. I had to ice down my voicebox the next day because they had me attempting to talk over a guy playing music in a very echo-y space, so that was rough, but I still had a lot of fun. Next time I’m going to bug my contact to put the musician upstairs or something where I don’t have to strain my voice. (Of course, I’m going to kick my contact’s butt if he puts another scented candle in my tasting area….)
Sunday was the birthday of one of the boyfriend’s cousins and also her last game before State Championships in softball. They won the game the boyfriend and I made it down to, so yay! They ended up losing the championship, but it was to a team that plays competitively for the whole season (her team plays recreational, then “all-stars” are chosen to play in tournaments to get to go to the state level). And! They only lost 2-0 to these girls that looked about 5 years older than the league (seriously, I wonder what’s in the water in that town!).
So, enough rambling, time for the weekly bit of awesome sauce from the folks at The Broke and the Bookish…
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Book
10. Kibou-diani from Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold: More specifically, I LOVE the catacombs beneath the world. The darkness and panic is just simply perfect for the opening of this wonderful book in the Vorkosigan Saga.
9. Barsoom from A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: I know it’s not scientifically correct, but I LOVE Barsoom (and I can’t wait to visit its real-world location for the John Carter film next month).
8. Goodsmanwood from The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell: The woods are very dark and deep, so to say…and the book uses its setting to beautiful degree as its main character. [More on my review over at SciFi4Me.com]
7. Westeros from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: Duh! Can’t you just fill the winter’s chill creeping up on you from the very beginning of A Game of Thrones? The wolves feel real, as does the snow, and the heights of the Eyrie dizzied me from the first passage.
6. Panem from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Taking a note from the wonderful Julia from The Broke and Bookish, I have to agree with her choice of Panem. It’s dreary and dreadful in District 12, but it feels so dreary it can’t help but be real. I almost feel like I’ve stepped back to the old coal mines of the 18th century in this wonderful bit of YA fiction.
5. Fortriu from The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier: While it is technically based off of a historical place, Juliet Marillier fills in the details of the 6th century Pictish homeland as if she had grown up there herself. Everything from the flora and fauna down to the reasons for various deity worship ring perfect in this first novel of a trilogy.
4. Sevenwaters from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: She does it again! Sevenwaters feels so real, I feel like I need to go there on vacation. It’s the perfect escape!
3. Midkemia and Kelewar from the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist: Oh my god, can these exist, please? While Midkemia provides the perfect typical fantasy setting, Kelewar provides a beautiful (and colorful) tropical alternative not often seen in the genre.
2. The world of Harry Potter from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling: Again, a duh. How many of us have waited on our letters from Hogwarts? After all, Quidditch is a sport nowadays.
1. Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien: And, lastly, a duh. I would live in Mirkwood in a heartbeat (of course, then again…spiders).
Holy crud…I’m managing to post two in a row!
Today’s TTT is a Freebie, so I went with a fun older one…
Bookish Pet Peeves
I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to books (both in the physical aspect as well as what the writer does), but I think I’ve narrowed it down…
10. Improperly Researched Facts– Okay, so I’m not going to notice the difference if you’re talking nuclear physics and get it wrong but there’s a reason the creators of The Big Bang Theory have scientists and mathematicians on staff…someone will. I know I have issues when there’s a bottle of wine described incorrectly. It’s a simple process and it should always be done…just research your facts! If you don’t know something, find someone that does and double check! Your book is worth it!
9. Authors Who Claim Writers Such as Tolkien as Inspiration, but Have the Vocabulary of a Third Grader– Tolkien was a PROFESSOR of LANGUAGE. George R.R. Martin has a degree in JOURNALISM. Implying that such prolific authors are your inspiration, you should at least throw a few SAT words into your work. When you have the vocabulary of a 3rd grader, you imply you’ve never actually read the books- watching movies and TV shows are not good inspiration for novels unless you want to be a copycat.
8. “Kreatyve” Fantasy Spellings– Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. While I’m guilty of enjoying a few odd spellings of fairly common names, I’m getting really sick of all of the extra “y”s when writers don’t get as creative as they’d like to imply on names. (My current favorite name doesn’t have a single y- Valea.)
7. Predictable Endings (especially in books that take themselves seriously)– It happens all the time. You pick up a highly recommended book and expect to enjoy the mystery or twists you love of certain genres…and then you guess the ending within the first two chapters. It’s one thing if it’s a cheesy romance book you’ve picked up just to kill some time or let your brain take a break, but I’m sick of it happening in mystery and “epic” novels.
6. Boring Sentence Structure– I can’t stand it when an author refuses to vary their sentence structure. If you’ve got simple sentences over a large period of time, it ends up reading like a first grade primer. If your sentences are constantly run-ons, the flow is broken. Vary your style. Vary your length. Your readers will thank you for it.
5. Plot Holes– Okay, who doesn’t hate plot holes? When something doesn’t get resolved and leaves open huge questions it detracts from enjoyment of the novel. One of the last books I read and disliked was riddled with question-inducing plot holes (and not the good kind of questions, either).
4. Inconsistent Timelines– Even worse than plot holes (and perhaps more specifically) are inconsistent timelines. I hate reading a book which gives you clues to the main character being born in the 70s, but yet young enough to be pregnant in a dystopian future. There is a limit to human fertility, and there is a limit to how much wiggle room you have when time is linear. Write out yourself a timeline and stick to it.
3. Grammatical Errors– There’s a reason you have an editor. I realize that, many times, when I get a book to read that’s an uncorrected proof, I’m going to see errors. That’s fine. I can’t deal with it when the book is in its final state and the editor has clearly not done their job. I’ve even seen a “your”/”you’re” mixup. What on Earth?
2. Dog Ears– There’s two reasons grammatical errors are not at the top of my list. Both of them are physical pet peeves. The first of the sins with books is when you dog ear. It’s not that hard to find something to mark your place. Scraps of paper, tissue paper, pieces of string, specialty bookmarks, scraps of cloth, come on! Of course, there’s one thing you really shouldn’t do aside from folding the paper of the book and that is…
1. Breaking the Spine– You and I were not meant to be friends if you are willing to break the spine on a precious book. It’s one thing to fold back a work book, but hardcovers were NOT MEANT TO BEND THAT WAY. Do book collectors of the future a favor and be nice to your books.
What is anyone else’s big pet peeve?
Also, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, I’ve got a special giveaway going on over at SciFi4Me.com in celebration of my one year anniversary of The Geekly with a Twist (as well as my 100th post). You should check it out…the prize pack is awesome sauce!