I just finished reading a book I didn't expect to like, in which I was so engrossed I forgot to even look at the author's photo until I'd completely finished the book. It's called Love in Mid Air, and it's by Kim Wright.
(My scan of my plastic-protected library book is not excellent, but it is better than Amazon's weirdly low-quality picture.)
I got the book thinking it would be about a woman who has a meet-cute affair with an impossibly ideal man. And it IS about that (is he also RICH? Why, yes he IS!). And there was more raunch than I like: I don't need the couple to lean out of the screen so I don't even have to see them kiss ooo icky, but I also don't need several-page sex scenes so descriptive they include the word "cervix."And furthermore, while reading it I was frequently reminded of my own, um, "novel" that I wrote for NaNoWriMo: there's a certain slapdash, anything-goes feeling to the writing, which in my own case was achieved by thinking "It does not matter what happens with the plot or what the pacing is or how likely this is, I just need to get 50,000 words in 31 days, so WRITE, write like the wind, and seize upon any idea that will generate more words!"
BUT. Something about the book---and it's something that INCLUDES that anything-goes style, which she pulled off in a way I did not---was highly appealing. I've read so many books over the years, sometimes I feel like I've already read everything. I yawn and think, "So will it be ending A, in which she finds her Ideal Man is not so ideal after all and ends up staying with her husband? Or ending B, in which she leaves her husband and we're supposed to believe the new guy is the man she was meant to be with all along? Or perhaps 'surprise' ending C, in which she ends up realizing she can live on her own without a man?" Which is why QUALITY WRITING becomes so important: if there are, as my English teacher said over and over again, no new plots and no new characters, then only the WAY the story is told matters. And yet this book DID surprise me, and furthermore it surprised me REPEATEDLY.
Just the other day my family was all together and my brother mentioned the astonishing scene near the end of Serenity (I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it), where something happens that makes you realize this movie is not going to play by the Movie Rules, and you can't assume ANYTHING. (There's a similar moment in the book Passage by Connie Willis.) This book was like that for me, though on a smaller scale: there were two or three places where I thought, "Huh. I see: I can't think in terms of option A and B for this one. And where IS she going with this??"
Anyway. I liked it. It has elements of fluff, in that it is not a heavy-going intellectual kind of book and there is a feeling of "female fantasy life" to it. And as I said, it has SEXXX. But it also has SUBSTANCE and SURPRISE, and I found I really liked the way it went.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 1 of 2 - I have TWO 8-year-olds to buy for, so I’m going to split it up into two posts. Today will be the things we’re getting for Edward. I dislike saying “Gift id...