Monday, October 6, 2008

A comment on my previous comments post.

Well, that's odd. It appears my comments option reappeared with my previous post about comments not appearing.

So, if you want to comment on a previous post, then just add your comment here and I'll see it, I promise.

This stuff can send you insane very quickly.

Here's a great video of your typical tech support (always assuming you can get through to an actual living, breathing person.

Comments not working for some reason.

My apologies for not having comments enabled. It is not of my doing, I assure you. I have spent the last hour going round and round in circles trying to find out how to fix it.

Everything in my settings appears to be in order, yet the comments option just isn't there. If anyone knows of a fix for this I'd be your friend for life and 10 days.

There appears to be no way of contacting a sentient life form at blogger unless there is abuse or some such. I've had to post to a help news group, but not holding out much hope as there are pleas for help going back a number of days that appears to have been unanswered.

I hope the comments will be back up and running again soon, so please check back.

Review: WHITE NIGHTS - Ann Cleeves

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: 2008-10-05
2nd in the Shetland Quartet series

WHITE NIGHTS is the second in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland quartet. In her first, Raven Black, we met Jimmy Perez, a detective sergeant born and raised in the Shetland Isles. We followed Jimmy as he solved a murder and met Fran, a divorcee with a daughter.

In WHITE NIGHTS Jimmy and Fran are on the brink of taking their friendship one step further. It is mid-summer, that time of the year when the sun never quite sets in the Shetlands. It can disturb sleep patterns and they reckon it can send people a little bit mad.

Fran is having her first art exhibition with Bella. Bella is a local woman with an international reputation, so Fran is thrilled to be sharing the limelight with her. On the big night, the turnout is disappointingly small and is also marred by the presence of a stranger; a man who stands in front of one of Fran’s paintings, head in hands and begins to sob. Jimmy steps in to try and help. He takes the stranger into the kitchen and leaves briefly. When he returns the stranger is gone. He is found the next morning, hanging in a fishing shed. The marks on his neck quickly establish it wasn’t suicide and Jimmy begins the investigation.
Reading Ann Cleeves is a little like being an addict. You very quickly become hooked as Cleeves
drip-feeds background information of her characters in very measured doses. And you have to pay attention. Miss one piece of this information and you might miss a vital clue.

The protagonist, Jimmy Perez is a quiet thoughtful man, familiar with the Islands and the people. His boss D.I. Taylor, who flies in from Aberdeen for major cases is the opposite. He is unable to sit still and has a bull-at-a-gate approach. They work well as a team and have developed a solid working relationship. It’s a fine line Jimmy has to walk in his investigations. He has to find out who committed the crime, yet he has to live with these people.

The characters, the island and its culture are all beautifully described. I’ve never visited the Shetlands but I feel as if I am there when reading these books. I have loved both books in the Shetland series and my regret is that Cleeves has stated she is only writing four. Each book represents a season of the year. We’ve had Winter and Summer. I can’t wait to read the other two seasons.

WHITE NIGHTS is one of my WOW books for 2008. Do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy. I’m sure it will be one of yours.

Cleeves' website at h gives details of the third in the series scheduled for publication early in 2009.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting Stuff done

You tube video found on These Aye Mean Streets blog by Russell D. McLean

I just had to add this before I went back to my school assignment. Well, I'll do that after I've finished reading my emails, washing the lunch dishes, checking my Facebook. You know....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sunday Salon: Can we please lose some adjectives?

I have just finished a doorstop of a book. 487 pages to be exact.
I won't bore you with the problems I had with the plot or the court room ending that simply wasn't credible.

What I want to talk about today is why this book was over-long. It's something that seems to be occuring more often recently.

The over-use of adjectives. An example from the book I read recently:
She took two of the upturned glasses standing on the crisp white towel on the black marble counter and poured them both a drink before gliding across the room, extendingher long slender arm and handing him his water."

Oh pu-lease. It was such an inconsequential bit of trivia in the book, yet the author made a 3 course meal out of it. She handed him a glass of water would have sufficed.

So why are is this happening in books? Is it an attempt to make them thick and seem like value for money for the reader (new paperbacks in Australia cost in the region of $33)?

Is it the fault of the writer, who doesn't know when to stop?
Or the publishers and the editors who let the books be published without asking for cuts?
Or is it an uncritical buying public who seem to go on buying and buying ?
There are a few authors who are huge these days whose work seems to have gone downhill, yet their books keep selling.

Any thoughts on this phenomenom?