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Shyheels

Read any good books lately?

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Just thought I would try to generate a bit of discussion on the forum. I’m part way through Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and am enjoying it. It is very imaginative. About the magic of books. I’d not read anything by him before, but picked it up on spec on the 99p special deal for Kindle books Amazon runs each day. They usually put out three books for 99p and I have been using that randomness to broaden my reading list. I don’t buy every day, but when there is a title that looks interesting by an author I’ve not read I snap it up. As a result I’ve got rather a backlog of books to read. Some have proven to be real turkeys despite the illustrious name of the author and others have been real finds. 

 

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I like to read, especially in bed before bye-byes time!   I have a Nook 'Glowlight' e-reader which I find excellent, although it is no longer directly supported in the UK but now under the auspices of Kobo.   A wide range of free e-books is available from the public library and from other sources, some free or at nominal cost.   I think the system is more flexible than the Amazon/Kindle tie-in.   However, there is some very poorly-written material around; I'm guessing it is effectively 'vanity publishing' that has cost the author little or nothing to get into circulation.

I also read much in printed books, fiction and non-fiction.   For relaxation, I much enjoy Clive Cussler's 'thrillers' and Lynda La Plante's crime novels - ideal for a holiday flight or lazing in a comfy chair somewhere - and look forward to new ones.    I also enjoy naval historical fiction; there are several authors whose 'heroes' invariably provide a good read.   Likewise, the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell are consistently good; I was prompted to read them after watching the excellent TV dramatisations. 

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 Indeed the self publishing routine on Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited is dire. The majority of it is extremely amateurish and poorly edited - if they've had any editing or proofreading at all. There is a much darker side too as described in this feature in the Guardian today https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/28/plagiarism-book-stuffing-clickfarms-the-rotten-side-of-self-publishing 

I have learned to avoid books that are listed on Kindle Unlimited or anthem that appears self published. It's really a shame because good writers have in the past made their start via the self-publishing route. But nowadays they are all swamped by drivel and distinguishing the oats from the chaff is too big a hassle. 

I had never read Lynda LaPlante until the other week when I picked up one of her novels on the 99p special deal - Bella Mafia. I quite liked it. I had heard of her, but had never read one of her novels and took advantage of the low price to get acquainted.

I like my Kindle Paperwhite very much - it has been a  lifesaver on long flights. Now I can take several hundred noels wit me and be certain that I'll have something I like to read with me.  

David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars was a boy I had been meaning to read for years now and which I picked up for 99p and enjoyed quite a bit, although the flashbacks became rather trying after a while. I could see the point of them, in the story, but I can't help but think that they could have been reduced in number with a bit more thought given to story structure. 

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