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Old 08-02-2019, 04:13 PM   #31
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I hear you. And if I were using price as THE REASON I'm reading a particular book, it might be snobbery.

Here's what I'm wrestling with. It's not that I've tried reading Indy authors and find them terrible. The opposite, the one's I've read have been enjoyable. The question I wrestled with is "since there is only so much time, should I not spend it reading even BETTER books"?

While that may be an obvious "yes". The next question is....where am I LIKELY to find the better book. Surely, no one knows until you read a book for yourself what you'll think of it.

I'm finding these Amazon Unlimited type authors to be writing very entertaining genre books....but upon reflection, they are NOT nearly as good as the Ludlum's, Clancey's and others they compare themselves too.

But hey...it's only $1 for a entire series, or even $3-$5 for a single book. Quite a bargain.

So...do I read a "Jack Noble" book for $3.99 or a "Mitch Rapp" book (that the Jack Noble book compares itself too) for $8.99?

I'm thinking I might well stick to paying more for "likely better". I'm finding these Amazon Unlimited books enjoyable, but after dabbling for 6 months...I think I'm going to save them for when money is too tight for the better authors

I found most of the kindle unlimited books to not be books I enjoy when I did have a kindle but then again I don't really read a lot of fiction in my adult years so I may be off base here but probably not since you largely agree with me , it seems, and also you get what you pay for and the price is only what ? $9.99 ? So it seems obvious they would be crap or largely crap.

So I would simply answer your question here (some of this maybe surperfluous or extraneous) :

(1) If you like something an author writes, read more of his stuff. An author whom you find interesting is more likely to have written other material that will please you than an author you have no knowledge of.

(3) Modern books are usually better than older ones. This is partly because modern books benefit from more up-to-date knowledge (tho they don't always), and partly because the publishing business is now very competitive, unlike in earlier days, years, or centuries; and competition means the best will generally rise to the top (ie, get published). A great many older books ('classics') are much overpraised, but it took me a long time to figure out that it was the books which were lousy, and not my taste.

(4) Don't waste your time reading lousy stuff, even if it is supposed to be 'important'. If it's lousy, chances are it's not important at all, at least for your purposes.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:53 PM   #32
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I hear you about older books. As much as I like EE Doc Smith Sci-fi....Neil Stephenson writes far better. But...then again...Asimov's Foundation and Herbert's Dune hold up very well IMHO.

And yes, I am, the type that reads most every book from my favorite authors.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:45 PM   #33
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I hear you about older books. As much as I like EE Doc Smith Sci-fi....Neil Stephenson writes far better. But...then again...Asimov's Foundation and Herbert's Dune hold up very well IMHO.

And yes, I am, the type that reads most every book from my favorite authors.
I think it all depends on what you mean by writes better. Doc Smith, i.e. pulp fiction, wrote to a specific style. I would argue that if we are still reading a work some 80 years after it was written, it's likely well written. That's withstanding the test of time. Maybe it doesn't match Elements of Style, but then again, a lot of my favorite classic authors growing up probably didn't either.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:22 PM   #34
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It doesn't matter whether the authors are big names, or (within reason) what the price is. Your limitation is time.

Read the books that you enjoy reading the most.

Don't read books just because you've bought them.
I agree. Time is the one commodity that we never have enough of and can't be replenished. Once it's gone, it's gone. Each book is a new adventure is how I see it. You may find a given trip isn't to your liking but if you limit yourselves to the main line authors of the day you may miss out on a gem as well.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:30 AM   #35
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A great many older books ('classics') are much overpraised, but it took me a long time to figure out that it was the books which were lousy, and not my taste.
You state that as if it's a fact (...it was the books which were lousy, and not my taste). Can you back that up with specific examples? Would a modern author like James Patterson be better than classic authors like Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett?
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:13 PM   #36
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I think it all depends on what you mean by writes better. Doc Smith, i.e. pulp fiction, wrote to a specific style. I would argue that if we are still reading a work some 80 years after it was written, it's likely well written. That's withstanding the test of time. Maybe it doesn't match Elements of Style, but then again, a lot of my favorite classic authors growing up probably didn't either.
I appreciate the art of the early sci to masters.....but time hasn't been kind to all of them. One, 50 or more years have happened and their vision of the future is archaic for much of them. It's kind of like how the Battlestar Galactica reboot series was SO much better than the original. Of course the special effects are better, but so is he acting and the writing.

Forever War by Haldemon must b appreciated for the time period it was written. Just reading it today...it's not very good story telling. Of mice and men didn't hold up well, IMO and I loved that book when younger. To Kill A Mocking Bird...still awesome.

Opinions. Of course
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:10 PM   #37
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I appreciate the art of the early sci to masters.....but time hasn't been kind to all of them. One, 50 or more years have happened and their vision of the future is archaic for much of them. It's kind of like how the Battlestar Galactica reboot series was SO much better than the original. Of course the special effects are better, but so is he acting and the writing.

Forever War by Haldemon must b appreciated for the time period it was written. Just reading it today...it's not very good story telling. Of mice and men didn't hold up well, IMO and I loved that book when younger. To Kill A Mocking Bird...still awesome.

Opinions. Of course
The reboot of Battlestar Galactica better than the original? Heresy! Blasphemer! (well except for the awful second season). I bet you like Picard better than Kirk as well.

Your criticism is true for pretty much any book. If the reader isn't familiar with Victorian London, then the actions and attitudes of Sherlock Holmes makes very little sense. The same sort of thing is true of Shakespeare, Milton and Homer.

Quite a bit of Heinlein's science has been bypassed by events. That's certainly true of Jules Verne as well.

I suspect how well a book holds up depends a lot on how familiar the reader is with the attitudes and knowledge of the time period of the book. IMPO, Of Mice and Men has held up quite well, but it only makes sense if you are familiar with the Great Depression and how it effected people.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:16 AM   #38
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You state that as if it's a fact (...it was the books which were lousy, and not my taste). Can you back that up with specific examples? Would a modern author like James Patterson be better than classic authors like Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett?
Well, most Americans only read at the 8th grade level that is why Patterson is popular ( I actually don't think Patterson is a good author) but I never mentioned anything about the popularity of the author so you are arguing over a strawman. Obviously, some older classics will stand up to the test of time I just said most won't.

Anyway, here are some examples of newer books possibly being better :

"A Gentleman in Moscow", by Amor Towles

"The Heart", by Maylis de Kerangal

"The Sympathizer", by Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Seveneves", by Neal Stephenson

"The Rosie Effect", by Graeme Simsion

"Patriot and Assassin", by Robert Cook

"Turtles All the Way Down", by John Green

"The Hunger Games", by Suzanne Collins

"The Cat’s Table", by Michael Ondaatje

etc...etc...

Last edited by Raphi'Elohim; 08-04-2019 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:15 PM   #39
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Well, most Americans only read at the 8th grade level that is why Patterson is popular ( I actually don't think Patterson is a good author) but I never mentioned anything about the popularity of the author so you are arguing over a strawman.
No strawman at all. I tried to pick crime writers that the average person would know. You are reading intention in my words that was not there, my friend.

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Obviously, some older classics will stand up to the test of time I just said most won't.

Anyway, here are some examples of newer books possibly being better :

"A Gentleman in Moscow", by Amor Towles

"The Heart", by Maylis de Kerangal

"The Sympathizer", by Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Seveneves", by Neal Stephenson

"The Rosie Effect", by Graeme Simsion

"Patriot and Assassin", by Robert Cook

"Turtles All the Way Down", by John Green

"The Hunger Games", by Suzanne Collins

"The Cat’s Table", by Michael Ondaatje

etc...etc...
So, those are modern books that you like quite a bit. That is fine. But since you are the one comparing modern books to classics (why both can't just be good is a mystery to me) and you are claiming it as a fact rather than your taste, I'm asking you for specifics.

What modern book is better than what classic? Why is, let's say, The Scarlet Letter just objectively not a good book? Or The Grapes of Wrath? If those aren't good examples, please do point me to what you are referring to.

You say that you know it is the book that is at fault and not just your taste. If that is true, then you should be able to point to some specific proof.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:45 AM   #40
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A. Back in the day of paper books, I haunted the "remainder" tables. At my local B&N I'd have six or seven tables of books, many hard back, for less than $5. I think those days are gone.

B. Back in the day, "magazines" like "Black Mask" and "Hitchcock Mysteries" gave new writers a place to start. Those are gone now, too.

C. My biggest problem with "Indie" books is a total lack of proofreading or editing. Words are dropped from sentences, using the wrong word is common, and some otherwise good books desperately need editing. A friend of mine wrote a science fiction novel, hired and editor, and then complained and threw out all her work because "she changed everything I'd written". That's what was needed. Basic grammatical errors were rampant.

D. There was a day when fledgling writers and reporters had finished high school. But, they knew the basic of writing, of grammar, of spelling. No more. I asked a man who worked for me, had a degree, and couldn't write to tell me what a sentence was. After some thought he said, "A bunch of words with a period at the end." That's how he wrote, too. Others would check a thesaurus and, thinking synonyms all mean the same thing, would pick a word they'd never heard and use it. Professors, who also couldn't write, loved it.

I have favorite authors but most of them are dead and probably won't be writing any more books. Sometimes I enjoy reading a book a second or third time but it's usually not rewarding.

I was taking a writing class forty-years ago and a fellow student, named Aldo Bartlett, was 87-years old. He had a third-grade education because he was the oldest boy in the family when his father died and he had to go to work at the age of ten. He worked for the railroad. He retired from the railroad quite young and decided he wanted to be a reporter. He inquired at a newspaper and they wouldn't consider someone who had even attended high school. So, he hired a professor of English from a local university, Harvard, and learned to write. Then he talked an editor into letter him be a proofreader for a month with no pay to show what he could do. He got a job as a proofreader. He learned about who, what, when, where, and sometimes why and moved up to writing obituaries and society news. And then became what is a rarity today, a reporter.

I get $.99 books and sometimes free books from Amazon. If I start the book and it's horrible I don't suffer when I toss it. I usually toss it and move on but I have been own to make comments in a review after saying I read only 10% of the book.

When I read paper book our local bookstore would let me read pre-publication copies and give them my opinion. The pre-pubs had information on the back cover of how many copies were planned and the advertising budget. I read a book with an incredible planned run and a large advertising budget and it was horrible. I asked the bookstore owner what was going on and he laughed. "That author is their best-selling coffee table book author. Cooking, travel in Europe, that sort of thing. He's threatened to go to another publisher if they don't publish and promote his mystery."

Thanks, Amazon, mot just for my Kindle, books by great authors, and giving no authors a chance but thanks, too, for my britches, umbrella, watch, and pocket knife.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:54 PM   #41
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I have favorite authors but most of them are dead and probably won't be writing any more books.
That's funny. Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:43 PM   #42
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That's funny. Thanks.
Being dead hasn't stopped Tom Clancy.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:45 PM   #43
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Being dead hasn't stopped Tom Clancy.
Mark Greaney has dome a good job of continuing the series. Eric Van Listbader has done a good job with the Bourne series as well.

Many of the top authors have turned themselves into editors/co-authors using their name to sell books they has SOME level of being written by others. It’s what I’d do if I could 🤓
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:53 AM   #44
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Mark Greaney has dome a good job of continuing the series. Eric Van Listbader has done a good job with the Bourne series as well.

Many of the top authors have turned themselves into editors/co-authors using their name to sell books they has SOME level of being written by others. It’s what I’d do if I could 🤓
I must confess I pretty much stopped reading Clancy books with Rainbow Six. The famous name/co-author thing has been around for a long, long time. Dumas was famous for using ghost writers/collaborators. Sometimes it can be well done and seamless, other times not so much. Baen does it a lot. It can be a useful tool for introducing a writer to an audience and helping a writer learn the craft.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:29 AM   #45
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I must confess I pretty much stopped reading Clancy books with Rainbow Six. The famous name/co-author thing has been around for a long, long time. Dumas was famous for using ghost writers/collaborators. Sometimes it can be well done and seamless, other times not so much. Baen does it a lot. It can be a useful tool for introducing a writer to an audience and helping a writer learn the craft.
That is why I am afraid to touch any Patterson book. I can already see my confusion in deciding who to follow next. More of true Patterson books, more of the same "Patterson/co-author" combo or other books by the particular co-author that are not branded Patterson. Are Patterson books usually seamless or is each author distinguishable from the others?
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iLiad An idea to mitigate boot time (and app launch time) -- For future use Antartica iRex Developer's Corner 14 11-05-2006 02:16 AM


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