answers from Diana
hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Apr 19 10:04:42 EDT 2001
>So I call Tanya Huff's books "light" because they aren't very complicated,
>they don't move me greatly, and I can't say I'm permanently the better for
>having read them. This sounds like harsh judgment, but only if you assume
>that books are only worth reading if they are complicated, deeply moving,
>and lifechanging. I laughed my butt off reading _Summon the Keeper_. Isn't
>that worth something?
Heck yeah! I can hardly wait to get it. Especially it's worth
something just ATM as I'm wading (slowly, painfully, and reluctantly)
through extracts of Wordsworth's "The Prelude" (The 13-book 1805
Prelude!). A little bit of humour is sorely needed to leaven that.
(IMO, OF course.)
>Ven mentioned her off-the-cuff scale of book seriousness from 1 to 10. I
>have a similar scale, but it's a little more complex. I rank books on four
>main qualities and average those numbers for an overall book score. (Not
>literally, I don't read with a calculator in my hand, but in a general
>sense, my overall score for a book comes from how well or poorly it does on
>those four things.) Specifically, I care about:
>theme--that elusive Wisdom of a book
>mental challenge--how hard I have to stretch
>craft--my fallible and snooty evaluation of the writer's technical ability
>emotional impact--how much it meant to me
>Numbers two and four are entirely subjective. Number one is probably the
>most "objective," insofar as it represents how easy it would be to write a
>critical essay about the book. Number three is sort of objective--you can
>cite rules about what makes good writing--but those rules vary in importance
>depending on who you talk to and what genre you're reading.
The first's the one I have a bit of trouble with. Understanding your
scale, and the objectivity/subjectivity of it, I mean. And does
character (which I recall your saying was important to you) fit only
in number four, or in three as well?
I got a pleasant mental image of a little book-rating calculator
busily at work, rather like the chances-of-success/survival
calculator in the brain of the character in _Agent of Change_. :)
(Borrowed from Kylie, so I can't check his name.)
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