Look at that. I’m posting on time this week. I have to admit, I haven’t gotten as much reading done this week as I would have liked, but I got some done. I guess that counts for something. Anyway, on with the show.
I have a confession to make. I had intended to start reading this one on Wednesday of last week. Unfortunately, life got in the way as usual. I only started it yesterday and just got through the prologue. However, if the rest of the book is as gripping as what I’ve already read, I see myself devouring this one. Here’s the synopsis. When they refer to the Great Library, they’re referring to the legendary library of Alexandria, which in this world, never burned.
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
I’m deliberately taking this one slow. It’s a great book so far. Not only does it provide a humorous approach to basic grammar, it makes me feel like less of an outcast. I’m learning that there are others that care a much about the preservation of the English language as I do.
As I’ve said before, I’m pretty good with spelling and grammar, but punctuation is my downfall. I thought I was alone in not remembering ever being taught about punctuation, but the author, although British, claims that she had the same experience.
I’m still no expert on punctuation, but like the author, I tend to take it as a personal affront when I see a glaring error. Particularly when it comes from someone who is supposedly a professional. My local paper is consistently full of errors. I would love to work for them as an editor, but they won’t hire anyone without a college degree.
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to brush up on their punctuation even though the author herself admits it’s not an exhaustive resource. It still should provide enough information for most people to get by without the stuffiness of other style guides.
One caveat. The author is British and at times can be somewhat disparaging toward American grammar where it differs from British. Still, these jabs are mostly lighthearted. Just be aware that there are a few instances where she says something is wrong, but that’s only the case in British grammar.
You might have noticed I’ve been reading a few books like this lately. Rest assured, I don’t plan to start writing at this breakneck pace. I’m just trying to glean as much as I can on upping my output. To be quite honest, I feel like a lot of these books take a lot of the art out of the process. Still, they aren’t without value. There are some great pieces of advice. You just have to weed out the ideas that aren’t for you.
When the author says a book, he isn’t referring to a 100,000 word novel. He’s talking about a 30,000 word book at most. Still, even doing 30,000 quality words seems like a book-factory mentality. I’m sure I could make a lot of money doing things this way, but I wouldn’t be able to shake the feeling that I’m betraying my art.
I mainly chose this book for two reasons. First, it was free, so I had nothing to lose. Second, it was a quick read, which made it perfect to read while donating blood. To be honest, I was disappointed when it came to tips for upping my output. They were either ones I’ve heard a million times such as, “You have to have an outline.” I’m not debating that. I really do need to learn how to outline. It’s just that I’ve heard that one so many times before. Or they were tips I couldn’t really relate to such as writing four similar books under pseudonyms in the same month so as not to have to chance gears between books.
I’m not saying it was a bad book. I’m just saying I got my money’s worth.
I feel like I’m slamming this book, which is not my intent. It’s good for what it is, It’s just not for me. I may sound like a snob, but I feel like my readers deserve more than me just pumping something out for the sake of putting something out. Does that make sense?
That’s it for this week. I’ll see you again this What’s Up Wednesday.
I’m still eagerly awaiting your questions and comments.
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