Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March is Reading Month, Tip #23: Give an Author Another Chance

Give an author another chance...

Now, I'm not one to hold a grudge. But sometimes I do with authors. If I have really disliked a book, I often avoid that author. I recently read The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt. It was long, so very long. It had rich descriptions (that I found in many cases to simply be details provided ad nauseum.) There were so many characters that they were not discussed in depth, and I just wanted to know more about less of them. Now, Byatt is a brilliant writer and there were fabulous ideas about creation destroying the creator and her use of setting and her understanding of the time period was impressive. But, as a fiction reader, I like stories to move faster. This one does not move fast. (But this is not the place for a book report, nor do I have the time.) Overall, I'm glad I read it. But I wouldn't read it again, and I would crinkle my nose instead of recommending it.

All this being said, reading The Children's Book made me want to know Byatt better as an author. So, I've placed her book Possession on deck. I've checked it out from the library, I've read a few reviews, and it got a thumbs-up from my running partner. And it's MUCH SHORTER than The Children's Book.

In the spirit of this, I have brought up from the catacombs (otherwise known as my basement bookshelves) a book that didn't work the first time I read it to Fran: Miss Nelson Is Missing. I think he wasn't ready. But I think it's time to try it again.

Sometimes a reader just needs to give an author or a book a second chance. Sometimes it's the right author at the wrong time. Trying an author or a book again later might help you find a great fit.

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