I mostly just read the introduction and the chapter on my blood type. But from what I did read, I got a pretty strong impression of the type of advice...moreI mostly just read the introduction and the chapter on my blood type. But from what I did read, I got a pretty strong impression of the type of advice that was being dispensed.
Basically, it's like vaguely-racist astrology. The ideas behind the advice were mostly sound. (Including suggestions to eat more of certain fruits and vegetables, and to avoid others, with reference to pseudo-scientific reasoning for how these foods affect the bodies of certain blood types and thereby affect the way they feel. Even if people don't follow the advice, getting these recommendations surely helps get them thinking more about their food choices and how those choices make them feel.) But if it "works" for you, it's probably because it was generically good advice, not because it tapped into some magical science behind the random accidents of how you were born.(less)
I think I need to officially call it quits on this one. Maybe it's just me being unfair to Mr. Wynne-Jones for not living up to the late great Diana W...moreI think I need to officially call it quits on this one. Maybe it's just me being unfair to Mr. Wynne-Jones for not living up to the late great Diana Wynne Jones he's shelved next to, but I really can't get into his book. He lacks the easy eloquence, the subtle humor, the straightforward (yet ultimately surprising) plotline and pacing that I was craving when I picked up his book. I got like 10% through, so I'm entitled to an opinion on the entire book, right? I doubt that the writing style changes. And the back blurb (and other reviews) don't really make the book sound like a world I want to play in. Ever.(less)
Simultaneously disheartening and encouraging for a wannabe-editor such as myself.
First, the disheartening: It's already outdated. It doesn't discuss em...moreSimultaneously disheartening and encouraging for a wannabe-editor such as myself.
First, the disheartening: It's already outdated. It doesn't discuss email or similarly-recent word processing software, nor does it go into the related realms of e-publishing and self-publishing. Many of the details about how editors spend their days (making phone calls, marking up physical manuscripts, etc.) seem irrelevant in the digital age. Many of the essays make the publishing industry sound a bit too cutthroat/stressful/political for my taste. The reminder that the publishing industry is for-profit (and hence manuscripts must be picked based on their marketability) kind of crushed my idealistic desire to spearhead a literary renaissance. Apparently experience is really important. Like, a decade of experience minimum. (BUT I WANT IT NOW.) Do editors ever have time to read for pleasure?? It seems like all reading becomes a form of research, like this manuscript-hunting, commercial mindset (necessarily) takes over the editor's life. Like, I guess editing is itself pleasurable. But...money is gross. (And it's made very clear that editors aren't particularly well-paid. Which is fine with me. Because money is gross.) Must an editor always have "moneymoneymoney" in the back of her head?
On the bright side: The thankless, anonymous artistry of the craft. The full-time immersion in the world of literature. The constant placating of authors, being a go-between for publishing professionals and aspiring artists (authors). The attention to detail. The fact that it's necessary to be harsh, blunt, honest, thorough... The necessity of staying true to yourself, trusting your instincts, and taking work that you're passionate about. Basically, every detail about what it means to be an editor, the type of person who's well-suited to the career, the humility and the passion and the pragmatism alongside the romantic sort of idealism that keeps editors going... Everything that these editors write about their careers--both that which is written with love and that which is written with frustration, that which is written to discourage and to disillusion as well as that which is written to inspire--makes me want to join their ranks.
So, yeah, this book kind of makes me want to cry. Happy tears. Relieved for the reaffirmation that this is the career for me. (But also tears of frustration. Disappointed that it will take so long, require so much political/economic/social savvy, and probably lead to a whole different world from the one that filled me with such hope when I read about it in these outdated pages.)(less)
I found the introduction mildly interesting. Livy's a cute nickname for Olivia. Apparently Mr. Clemens was quite a prankster with his (tragically earn...moreI found the introduction mildly interesting. Livy's a cute nickname for Olivia. Apparently Mr. Clemens was quite a prankster with his (tragically earnest) wife: he'd black out big sections of his letters to her, pretending they'd been censored. He also mocked her poor spelling. But in a loving way, apparently.
I say apparently because I never actually read the letters. I stopped after the introduction because Livy didn't sound particularly interesting. I didn't feel like reading the writing of one interesting and funny author, all that made him interesting hindered by a lovesick desire to tone down his natural knack for humor, and the boring woman who inspired this desire. Maybe I'm misinterpreting the introduction, but I get the impression that I wouldn't enjoy reading the sort of correspondence that these two had. Reading an introduction to it was plenty.
If you're a scholar of good ol' Sammie C, this will probably interest you. Or if you're writing a paper about authors' wives. Or you want to peek behind the persona of "Mark Twain" and see who he was when he was being a man of love instead of an author of awesome.(less)
I give up. I just...can't finish it. Maybe I'll try again later, but I've already tried twice and can't seem to care about the plot or the characters...moreI give up. I just...can't finish it. Maybe I'll try again later, but I've already tried twice and can't seem to care about the plot or the characters or the writing. Not for 300 more pages.(less)
I've only read the preface and a couple bits that pertained to the usage issue of "that" versus "which," but I thiiink that's a sufficient amount of r...moreI've only read the preface and a couple bits that pertained to the usage issue of "that" versus "which," but I thiiink that's a sufficient amount of reading for me to determine that Bryan A. Garner is my hero.(less)