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About France

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  • Birthday 06/27/1954

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  1. Willoyd's Reading 2021

    I rather agree about Crawdads, I felt it was a bit juvenile in places though I did enjoy it. It just wasn't superb. On the other hand I loved Miss Austen, I thought it was far better and more convincing than The Other Bennet Sister which is the one that has been garnering all the rave comments.
  2. France's reading 2021

    The Samaritan by Mason Cross was a good basic thriller about a serial killer in Los Angeles targeting women who have broken down. There was one place where I raised my eyebrows wondering if Carter Blake, the name the hero chooses to use, would really have allowed himself to be trapped so easily but still worthwhile. However Missing Pieces by Tim Weaver is severely lacking. It has a woman in peril who who so basically lacking in common sense that you are amazed she survived the first evening let alone several months stranded on an island. It's a standalone and I've heard good things of his other books and gather from reviews that they are in a different class so I might give them a go. 1971, Never A Dull Moment, Rock's Golden Year by music journalist David Hepworth is a paean to what he considers is the greatest year of rock. He is hugely knowledgeable about the music of his youth (he was 21) but even if nostalgia influenced his belief that 1971 produced more records that have really stood the test of time than any other year it's hard to dispute that there was some great music. It's a very enjoyable read, full of interesting little facts and written with a refreshingly dry cynicism but he's never spiteful. It's probably of most interest to those who are familiar with at least some of the tracks either through being there at the time or discovering Pink Floyd, the Who, Carole King, Sly and the Family Stone, Roxy Music etc much later on.
  3. Dune

    I loved this even if for my taste there was too much CGI though the battle scenes were spectacular. It's a long film, over 2 1/2 hours and I was really surprised when the credits came up, it felt like I'd been there an hour and a half. The pace doesn't lag and the actor playing Paul is excellent. I'm not sure why it isn't advertised that this is Part 1, Part 2 will be the second half of the book and there should be a third film based on Dune Messiah. However I think Denis Villeneuve was quite right, it's a very long book with a lot of content and needs the extra time I read Dune when it first came out and absolutely loved it, re-reading it several times shortly afterwards but haven't picked it up for many years so I can't comment on how close the film is to the book but somehow it just felt as if it had got all the important bits.
  4. 1971 - A Year of Great Music Hits

    I've just read 1971, Never A Dull Moment, Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth, excellent read and will send you racing to Spotify to remind yourself of the albums and tracks he mentions.
  5. Keeping your TBR under control

    I have a vast TBR, justified in my opinion by living in a foreign country and not having easy access to an English language library so I have to stock up when I can both with paper books and on my Kobo. I also have several titles on both, I'll buy something on special offer on Kobo then if I come across the real life version I'll get that too as I prefer reading in print and like being able to lend favoured books to the family. Then there's my Audible library too...
  6. Has anyone read...?

    I've read the first three or four then the series slipped off my radar slightly. The first one is really good, so are the next two then from what I remember the fourth was a bit too long. Well worth trying, two of my daughters enjoyed the books too (the third doesn't like fantasy).
  7. Victober

    I remember thinking it was a bit silly actually, but that was probably due to being 15.
  8. Victober

    I have! I read it when I was 15.
  9. examples of plagiarism

    I'm sure Superman has been copyrighted so you wouldn't just be plagiarising, you'd get sued for copyright infringement too! And no, that level of similarity is not acceptable.
  10. France's reading 2021

    Getting a bit behind with commenting on my books so here's a quick run down on some of them: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin was a terrific read, wonderfully written and absorbing fantasy. Sadly I ended up abandoning her latest book The City We Became which is so didactic it became really tiresome, boring too. I've always adored Mary Lawson's writing and I think A Town Called Solace is probably her best to date. Absolutely simple, perfect prose, not a word wrong. it's been longlisted for the Booker which does surprise me as usually Booker nominees aren't this accessible. Highly recommended. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. can't even remember what it was about now. Nuff said. The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain is an excellent page turner, OK you can guess one of the key plot points about half way through and a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief is required but it didn't spoil the book for me. Mother May I? by Joshilyn Jackson about a woman whose baby is abducted is utterly brilliant until the last two chapters where having almost wound everything up she seems uncertain how to do the last bits and put in a jarring denouement along with a certain amount of preachiness. The point was fair but the reader, certainly this one, didn't need it pointing out so heavily. Very worthwhile reading up to there though.
  11. examples of plagiarism

    Are you thinking of plagiarism in story lines or actual words? There is no copyright for titles or plot lines, however your words are copyright as soon as you write them even if they aren't published (I'm talking about UK law here, I believe that US law is much the same). Well known authors often complain about other writers borrowing their plot lines and tweaking them just slightly to make them appear different, there was a notable case in the States where a writer of romances found her plots and words had been lifted wholesale with the female character turned male so it was gay romance. That was a fairly open and shut case, others are not quite so clear. Another case a few years ago where a new writer who had a big publishing contract was found to have paragraphs very close to another author in the same field. Her contract was cancelled, the book pulped. So you can write a book inspired by Jack Reacher with a loner hero who goes around sorting criminals and generally being superman and providing you don't follow the exact same plot arc and don't copy the words it won't be plagiarism, legally, but if it's too close the reader will feel that it's utterly unoriginal so the book will bomb. However there are only seven basic plots so all novels have similarities with something that has already been written (with the exception of a few very strange ones!) Jack Reacher for instance follows a long line of loner superman heros, it was the way that Lee Child wrote him that made him so different. All writers absorb the odd phrases and words from other writers, we're encouraged to write good phrases down in our note books and it's inevitable that they'll pop up from our unconscious sometimes and we'll assume that they are ours. That isn't plagiarism, plagiarism is using whole paragraphs and it is never acceptable.
  12. Books that make you blub

    I felt like that about the last chapter in War and Peace. Nearly 50 years later and I'm still furious about how Tolstoy thought Natasha would turn out.
  13. Audible - is it worth it?

    About 10 days ago About 10 days ago. I've been having a lovely time binge listening! The catalogue is quite difficult to wade through as typical Audible, the categorising of books seems to be quite erratic, finding a classic in Sci Fi and Mystery for instance. The classic section is very good (I already had quite a few in my library) and they have most of Bryson's books too.
  14. Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter

    I also have a first edition of The Silmarillion and it's worth only slightly more than any other second hand hardback because the print run was huge.
  15. Victober

    Or listen to Victorian literature on Audible or any of the other talking book sites. As someone said elsewhere Victorian literature was made for reading aloud, I didn't like Trollope at all before I discovered him on Audible now I'm addicted. I'll be moving on to Dickens soon (I still have a hang up about reading him from having being made to plough through David Copperfield when I was 8).