Look at me, all done reading a book! And not knowing how to explain why it’s been so long since the last time I did that.
I remember reading Kate Morton’s other books…
- The House at Riverton
- The Secret Keeper
- The Forgotten Garden
- The Distant Hours
…so I didn’t think it would be a stretch to like The Lake House. And I did like it. I just didn’t love it. There was way too much messing about getting to the point. And far too many coincidences and characters and back stories and sub plots and descriptions and hopping around in time. Just too many words. I guess that’s why I could never write an entire novel, lacking the patience to expand everything to death without giving the ending away in the first chapter.
A child disappears and it takes seventy years to solve the mystery of what happened to him. People with secrets! You just want to give them a shake. How’s that for a book review?
If the reading of this book hadn’t started well before Christmas and proceeded in fits and starts up until this afternoon I suppose I might have found it shorter. Mostly I read in bed when I was already tired and rarely came across anything riveting enough to keep me awake. Not even half way through I found myself no longer caring what really happened or why, but FINALLY the end arrived and it all came together in the neatest little package ever, tied with a bow. I don’t know why that felt trite and disappointing, but it did. Just too darned neat and tidy and resolved.
Anyway, it’s a story and it’s been told. If you like Kate Morton you will enjoy this. But I don’t think you will be blown away.
I probably would not buy this book. It sounds unbearably sad.
Daily Prompt: If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?
GAH! It’s that stupid favourite word again! By the way, I learned to spell it with a ‘u’ and I see no reason to stop doing so. But I still hate it. It is maybe my favourite word to hate. Because picking favourites seems to be beyond my scope of abilities.
There is no single book I prefer above all others. I would have a huge problem choosing a dozen books I love because how do you stop at some finite number? I would keep adding to the pile until it fell over and killed me, putting both of us out of our misery.
Other than that nit-picking little point, I can see the beauty of this prompt. Book cover art is no doubt a big hook in getting people to pick up a book and look at it more closely. Sometimes the genre is easily identifiable by taking a quick glance at the cover. For instance, if there’s a bare breasted woman with her head flung back and her eyes closed being ravished by an unbelievably handsome chisel featured body builder, you can be fairly certain it’s not a cook book or a travel guide. Although if it’s in the self-help section, who knows.
I like bright colours and pretty pictures and great art work as much as the next guy, and recognizing an author’s name is always a big plus. But mostly it’s the brilliance or the weirdness of a book’s title that gets me every time. The Cheese Monkeys (Chip Kidd), Ella Minnow Pea (Mark Dunn), When God Was a Rabbit (Sarah Winman) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon) come to mind.
And did you know there’s a prize for thinking up weird book titles? You can read about it here. And then you just might find yourself wanting to do some further research on Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop among other things.
So I guess my advice to all you book writers out there is to think long and hard about your book title because even if your book is complete crap, a catchy and crazy title will be enough to get someone like me to buy it. Although I might draw the line at Bombproof Your Horse (Rick Pelicano and Lauren Tjaden) simply because I don’t own a horse.
Otherwise, it sounds pretty good.
E is for Etymology, Origin 1350–1400; Middle English < Latin etymologia < Greek etymología, equivalent to etymológ ( os ) studying the true meanings and values of words.
One of the first things I do every morning is play my many word games. Apparently, that’s what WRITERS do. Ergo, I must be a writer. Ergo is another lovely E word, way quicker to type than therefore, ergo I decided to use it here and if I continue on with this sentence for much longer you will begin to seriously doubt I have any talent for writing whatsoever. Ergo I shall stop.
If you love words too, check out
PR Daily News
and click on Writing and Editing. Or anywhere else, for that matter. It’s full of interesting stuff. The article that convinced me I must belong to that elite group called “writers” is here. Because I love all those word games and play most of them every day.
MOST days I feel very smug and smart with all the words I know or can figure out and sometimes am even able to spell correctly. Other days it’s good to bring that ego down a peg or two by playing Etymologic. The first time I played I got 4 out of ten by making wild guesses. The best I’ve done is 8 out of 10 by cheating. You can totally rationalize cheating if you convince yourself it’s in the interests of learning something new and has nothing at all to do with getting a less embarrassing score.
These games are also something I can enjoy by clicking away with one hand while using the other to drink coffee, another activity which gives me great pleasure. I wonder where the word multitasking originated? From Latin multis (much, many) and French tâche (job or task)? Although the word tache without the accent can also mean ink stain. So another plausible meaning might be too many ink stains on your fingers from writing so much, and ergo, get a keyboard you moron.
Having a good book on the subject of etymology seemed like such a great idea to me this morning that I searched Amazon for just such an invaluable source of information. There were just way too many choices. What I ended up downloading to my kindle was this:
English Swear Words and Other Ways to be Completely Misunderstood, by Peter Freeman.
I doubt that it will be helpful for cheating at Etymologic, but it could prove to be wildly educational. Sort of like learning a second language, and probably a lot more fun than Latin.