Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Reads: Do You Rewrite Books You Read?

Summer reads seem to fall into a category all of their own. They are light, a quick read, compelling and they usually don't fall into the "literature" category. I have never read one of that I did not want to edit. I feel the need to get a pen and put marks all over everything. I am just that way.

Let it be known here that 1) I have never written a book 2) I am not an editor at all 3) I am eternally hopeful that a book will carry me away without a worry! I do not criticize willy nilly.

I have just finished reading two book, one a romance and the other a mystery. The first, The Little Paris Bookshop was popular in the airports I thing. The second,  Dead Water by Ann Cleeves. They were both ***** reads.

The story behind The Little Paris Bookshop is so endearing. Lost love, a secret door revealed on the opening pages and an owner that has lost all hope for seeing a beautiful day are all set on a barge/bookshop tied up to a mooring in Paris. Part travelogue, part crazy characters and all romance. How could a summer read be any better than this?

I hate to admit it but there are a few teeny tiny things I wanted to rewrite. The tone of the book was so 1950 and yet just about the time my mind had settled in for a lovely river journey the mention of cell phones or the internet was interjected into the story. It would take me several chapters to relax again. In my world, cell phones have no place in a beautiful barge, romance, love lost tale.

Then I finished the Ann Cleeves' novel Dead Water. I read a great deal of it on my phone. That is one of the beautiful things about a summer read...the simplicity of the story. Unlike the Hamilton book I am plowing through, I do not need to see the whole page.

I like this book a lot...why? Well, I had watched the Shetland series on Netflix and loved it. I am an Ann Cleeves fan going back to my first taste of the Vera series and I'm in love with the murder mystery. Reading the book after seeing the series left me with many questions and comparisons. For me that is a good thing. I am easily distracted when the story or the author are not good.

But, in many ways, I did want to rewrite things. I grew to dislike Cleeves' directness. She didn't leave enough to the imagination I thought. Instead of inferring things, she said it outloud as it were. Could I have done better? No, not in anyway. She is a master at what she does. In the end I would not change a thing...well maybe a teeny tiny thing here and there but nothing major!

How do you feel about author's styles and how would you change a few words here and there to make a book resonate with you more?



  1. Hah, hah ... I always have suggestions for the author as well. But as we all know, it's far easier to be a critic than a writer!

    1. Being a critic might be a cushy job...oh then you would have to read all those books. Or would you? :)

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