Number one bestsellers – and – words (sort of)

In betwixt a heavy bout of editing, I have read a few books. While I normally review books by indie authors, or new unknown ones, I thought I’d look at some number one bestsellers. Because, if they aren’t indie published, they all seem to be number one bestsellers. All books courtesy of my neighbour who clearly thinks I don’t have enough books to read.

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To start with: Tess Gerritson, and her first book, Call After Midnight. It’s the only book of hers I’ve read, and she obviously changed direction after that, first writing romances, and then going on to homicide detective plus medical examiner pairing. Standard crime fodder I suppose. Anyway, Midnight was good, it was a spy sort of thing, set in Europe about a missing American, who naturally, had a double life. It was well-paced, had a few unexpected events and wasn’t totally predictable, so made an enjoyable read. Based on that, I’d give her crime stories a go.

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Next, Kathy Bones Reichs and her forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. First, no I haven’t seen the TV series. Second, I read in one of many how-to-write pieces of advice, that when you are an expert in something, it is not a good idea to bore the reader with your amazingly detailed knowledge, eg if you are into sailing please don’t write about every single knot, how to tack, flip the mainsail or spar rib or whatever one does in a sailing boat, just keep it short and sweet. Clearly Reichs has not read this sort of advice as we get excruciating detail about every bone in the body, and the need to scrape the flesh off. Not only gruesome, but boring. The saving grace is her off-off ex who is quite a reasonable character. I read Mortal Remains, Flash and Bones, and 206 Bones, which was easily the worst as it was glaringly obvious what was going on.

If you cut out all the detailed descriptions of piecing together the bone jigsaw puzzles, and the tedious information dumps when Reichs feels like boring us with a different topic eg how America went about collecting bits of dead soldiers from Vietnam and trying to identify them and the set-up of the organisations involved to do that, then the books would be half the length. It’s interesting material, just not the way Reichs writes it up.

Seriously, if your average Indie author submitted books like that, it would be red-penned from here to eternity. Which apparently was filmed on a beach in Hawaii, mentioned in one of the above books. Can’t remember which, as they all blur into one really. Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.

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I’ll finish with British author Martina Cole who clearly, despite being another number one bestseller, has also not been on a creative writing course. Hey, but why should she? In fact she runs them. She’s sold more than 14 million books in the UK, has a grade two listed manor house in Kent, and a house in Cyprus. Who am I to criticise?

But onto the book, The Business. It’s about, as apparently many of her books are, the established London underworld, in this case mainly loans, drugs and prostitution. It’s really the story of a family, and how one woman, who is a prostitute and a functioning addict, manages to wreck an awful lot of lives while sailing blissfully through it all on her heroin cloud.

It’s a gritty story, and okayish. So what’s wrong with the book, apart from everything? The style. The pace. The lack of feeling and emotion. It’s all told in distant third party, like a reportage seen through a long distance telescope. The reader never gets close to any characters. I ended up admiring the junkie prostitute for her sheer selfishness and drive. Perhaps that was the idea? The writing oozes tell not show, ie, it tells the reader what is happening all the time by explaining everything in boring detail, instead of varying the pace by showing actions and emotions, and there is endless passive writing. I nearly copied a paragraph as an example, but it was too soporific.

More about Martina.

In this article, Cole says she knows she doesn’t write literature, but her readers like a good story.

However, I’d like to suggest there are good stories, and yes hers are okay. And, there are good stories that are well written, or stories that are so good, you are too busy turning the pages to analyse the writing style. Those are truly good stories, and sadly, for me, Cole’s book did not fit into that category.

But, it’s interesting. These people are no better writers than many who write and self publish, I have read better writing by self published authors, yet, by whatever fluke, Cole, Gerritson and Reichs had a lucky break, and are bestsellers. Such is life.

Meanwhile in the interval, for the first time in 18 months, I give you … the beach. Yes, roughseas finally staggered down there, not once, but twice. Next up? Back on the bike. Although maybe not just yet.

Words

One of the things I try and keep up with is words. New words, changing words, archaic words, rare words.

The Oxford Dictionary has announced its Word of the Year. Except it’s not a word. It’s an emoji. Dear me. What does that say about our ever-decreasing standards of literacy?

It’s ‘Face with Tears of Joy’.

😂

One I never use. It’s not really a British thing. Seems rather OTT.

The other short-listed words were:

  • sharing economy
  • ad block
  • on fleek
  • Dark Web
  • they
  • Brexit
  • lumbersexual (which sounds very Pythonesque)
  • refugee

There is a poll on the OED website for readers to vote for their fave, so I thought I’d do the same :) Link to OED also gives word definitions if you don’t regularly use on fleek (?!?)

And as a bonus you can also have a guess at which word I voted for. If you want.

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112 comments on “Number one bestsellers – and – words (sort of)

    • I assume it’s for summer. There was a big field just up the arroyo. Used to have a really nice derelict house on it which was no longer there :( The parkin sign was timely. It was November after all. Didn’t see any for sale though.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t think there was much tea at our bonfire parties. They were multi focused at parents and kids. Alcohol for the parents, so it was beer or hot toddies as I recall, plus mushy peas and ham shanks, roast potatoes, cocktail sausages, goodness knows what else my mother produced. And … the parkin of course. My grandma took care of that. She could bake blindfolded.

          Kids were too interested in fireworks!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Our Bonfire Nights were spent at a local park where the Lions put on a firework display and my Dad dished out the Bonfire toffee. Not quite as gastronomically exciting as yours but fond memories none the less :-)

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          • You are sooooo much younger than me. There were no local public bonfires, that I knew of, back then everyone had a bonfire in their back garden. And when the embers were dying down, we’d wander round to see if anyone else’s was still blazing or they were still setting off fireworks. My grandmother used to sell toffee. Don’t know if she sold bonfire toffee or sold extra before bonfire night because the big day of the year was toffee Sunday :) Not that she made it, it was commercially produced (she sold quite a lot). She wasn’t a reknowned cook. Unlike mum and her mum, hence the foody bonfire parties. I suspect prawn and mushroom vol-au-vents may have appeared too in later years!

            Liked by 2 people

  1. Well now, ain’t/aren’t those words a crock of BS? I don’t know about this world but I voted for “they” since “they” is used for anything that folks don’t know what “they” are talking about or who “they” are talking about. I have not idea what you voted for but I marked something and now I’ve forgotten which one. Maybe it was “refugee.”

    Anyhow, an interesting post. I learn something each time I read one of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! Beautifully put!

      I’ll be honest I found the ‘new’ words and/or words of the year interesting. I’ll post a follow up in the next week or two :) so you can find out my ‘fave’ word, and a couple of other comments about it all.

      Thanks, as ever, for your visit and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like your neighbour does want to keep you busy. LOL!

    I agree on ‘Bones’. We watch the series and there I think it’s acceptable to give the detailed knowledge, because you can see what they are talking about. Reading it won’t give me that because I would have no clue what they are referring to, especially if they use medical terms. And yes, don’t watch Bones when you’re eating dinner. :D

    Not many good stories lately, especially when it comes to movies and you know I do prefer my movies. It’s a struggle to read sometimes.

    Love the shot on the beach of Snowy. Looks like he was having lots of fun and he looks so great as your Avatar. He is such an adorable beauty! :D

    The Beach idylle is also one stunning shot. I can only imagine myself sitting there drinking an ice-cold beer. You can write a story about that spooky tunnel. LOL!

    Glad to hear you’re up and about. One of these days you will be running with Snowy again. :D

    The only thing I know about ad blocker is Adblock Plus. A very cool extension to have for all the irritating ads on some websites.

    The word ‘lumbersexual’ got my attention and I googled it. You should see the images. Here you can see 30 Hottest Lumbersexual Celebrities. hahahaha!

    http://whatculture.com/offbeat/30-hottest-lumbersexual-celebrities.php

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think he sees us as his local charity to support :) alternatively, it saves him dumping his rubbish elsewhere.

      I think Bones might be better on film. In books? Gah!

      Thank you for Snowy comments, he aims to please :) He so likes friends.

      Ah. The spooky tunnel. There is indeed a story. But not for public consumption or the faint of heart.

      Running?!! I only ever run for buses. And they are so frequent in gib I don’t need to. Or I can walk.

      Ads are a pain. But I’m not paying for add ons. Don’t like people seeing unapproved ads on my site. Should really check what comes up I suppose.

      Great lumbersexual link. 😝

      Liked by 2 people

      • LOL!

        Bones is better on film for sure. I don’t think I would enjoy reading the books.

        You’re very welcome and it’s always great to see him. :D

        Now that does sound interesting. Please tell me more! :D

        I wish we had buses here still, but I do prefer to walk.

        They sure are and me neither. If I can’t get it for free and without malware, I don’t use it.

        Glad you liked the link. It was quite funny and the first time I’ve heard about Lumbersexuals. LOL!

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        • It could be OK on film, because the talking would alleviate the boredom of reading about which bone fits where. Unless they translate the boring text to equally boring speech.

          Nearly took a pic of him this morning. Just look liked a pile of sheet and blanket! Underneath it and totally covered was a warm cosy Podenco though.

          Hmm. I’ll think about it. Buses are OK if you have shopping to carry. When A took Snows for his jabs last month, they walked into town instead of driving, and the vet looked stunned. Mind you I did it the first year when he was a couple of months old, took a rucksack though in case he got tired!

          Sound policy. Ours is a frugal household, ours is :D

          Cotton Boll, below, made an interesting comment.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s a bit more interesting. Her Bones character is quite something to see and experience. One of hubby’s most favourite TV series and then of course it’s NCIS and Agent X.

            Yes, those ‘dem bones’ that you talked about would fit quite nicely in there. LOL!

            Awwwwww! So adorable! Clearly he was keeping mom’s feet warm again. LOL!

            I agree. I loved to ride on the buses and of course trains. In the city they do have lots of buses. Our town is too small to warrant one.

            I bet the vet never saw such healthy looking people (including Snowy of course). It might also have been because normally after a walk like that a dog’s temperature may be elevated and then they can’t vaccinate and Snowy’s wasn’t. Just shows you what a special boy he is and he has a special mom and dad for keeping him so healthy. :D

            haha! You mean the comment about HR snooping around on people’ computers? Really funny! LOL!

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          • Oh, and I keep forgetting to tell you I absolutely LOVE your header! What a peaceful and scenic shot! Is that A enjoying that glorious view or someone else?

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          • Thanks. Just someone on the beach. Probably fishing. I just liked the almost silhouette side view quality of it. I cropped it for impact. I didn’t know about the elevated temperature. But it is November, and it was first thing, so shouldn’t have been too high. Plus, like Russel, he can just go for hours if he needed to, so I imagine their (hunting) bodies adjust to prolonged exercise. Some dog came to say hello to him in the vets, and Snowy wasn’t impressed, and the vet told the person to keep his dog away from Snowy :D Our vet likes little dogs, and of course, we actually got Snowy through Pedro. We told him we wanted to home another one, and asked if he knew of any. He had some on his noticeboard but they were out of date, so we knew he was sympathetic to rescues. And a little later, he put us in touch with Rocio who had just found Snows.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if Nigella Lawson knows that Martina Cole has written a book about her….

    I pick up books in airports…and usually put them down again pretty sharpish: if I want to read illiterate crap then a newspaper is cheaper.

    Thanks to your mention of lumbersexual that damn song has occupied my brain and I am hoping it will vacate it before the young man who is trying to improve his English comes round later. Explaining Monty Python in Spanish is beyond the call of duty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Think the parentage was vaguely disguised in the book. Allegorical. Or something.

      Never picked up, or at least, never bought an airport book in my life. Usually rip-off prices. Nothing free to read, and I don’t have one (usually do), sleep does it.

      Good song. Pleased to have reminded you. Not quite what the macho lumbersexuals seem to envisage. Guess they were born post Monty. I found it really funny.
      Lesson go ok? I nearly got embroiled in that a few times. Too much like hard work. Prep beforehand, work afterwards, the bit in the middle is easy! Well, excluding Monty Python.

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        • Ah, the ones I was going to do in Gib were (paid-for) conversation classes and I was mega-busy at the time anyway. A chat at home sounds easier, would be ok at the finca but not at the flat. The ones I was asked to do in Spain were someone’s kids, after school which was bloody siesta time!

          I can’t imagine MP coming up in a casual Costa Rican chat.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Of the words listed, the only three I’d heard of previously were, not surprisingly “refugee” and “they,” along with, sadly, emoji (which I despise). Granted, I’m not on the cutting edge as far as slang goes, but I do read a fair bit on the web so I’m not completely in the dark. I’m not sure where the OED is looking to gather its choices. It sounds like they were trying to appeal to younger readers by showing how “with it” they are. The thing is, most younger folks have never used an real hand-held dictionary before.

    And I’m not going to look up “lumbersexual” right now because I’m at work and don’t need that showing up in my search history should HR decide to start snooping around on people’s computers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have found that a number of the ‘Best Sellers’ I have seen lately strike me as having a slight spelling error in that description – it should be Best (buried in) Cellars.
    I cannot bring myself to give the remotest seal of approval to any of the words listed – and I find it hard to believe that you would.

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    • I would avoid ‘best sellers’ out of principle because they aren’t my choice, but if they fall in my lap, then good to read and find out what sells. Allegedly.

      Not even refugee? I’m sure you could approve that one. So yes, I do agree with at least that, plus one other. Language changes. So should we.

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  6. Interesting that none of those best sellers appeal to me at all, not even if they were free. I agree. Such is life. Thank you for the photos of the beach… likely the only insight into Spanish coastal lifestyle that I’ll get. Another similarity between my village and yours, agricultural juxtaposed with the coastal although your appears much closer.
    Unfortunately I had read an article re the 2015 word of the year list in which lumbersexual featured, looked it up but not as bad as I thought. Brexil & on fleek were new, and I doubt I’ll ever have cause to use them. I’d prefer not to see ‘refugee’ as the last thing a humanity centred issue needs is a non-personifying label but rather ‘people seeking refuge/asylum’… that I heard was going to be adopted instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The books are the sort to read (if they’re free) when you want something totally brain dead to chill out with, that goes in one ear and out the other. Poor metaphor but you get the idea. Something that doesn’t involve thinking, anymore than this book is not well written.

      I guess the fields and the sea are all together. The coastal strip is the fertile part, mild temperatures, flat, compare with inland where it soon gets hilly, arid and the temps are more extreme apart from a few pockets.

      Nicely picked up on refugee, I hadn’t thought of that depersonalisation and I should have done. I suppose we describe people in terms of their status all the time. I’m so used to not describing people as clinical conditions eg epileptic, diabetic, disabled, but I hadn’t thought of extending that. Good call Ella Dee.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I shall have to come back and read all the comments when I’m not nodding off at the keyboard. Your commenters are almost as enjoyable as your original posts. Nice group of people on your blog.

    I really enjoyed your book reviews — and the photos (the one of Snowy on the beach is stunning. He is so pristine against the dark sand). I like your forthright synopsis (synopses?) and evaluations, and will not be reading these books.

    On a completely different note: I watched Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen skit today, and thought of you. How much truth is in that presentation? Since it seemed familiar I may have watched it before, but I still found it very amusing. (I know — three “it”s in one sentence. A tad excessive. Sorry.)

    And — back to your post — do your jaunts to the beach signal two working ankles? If so, Yippee!! and Praise God, etc. Good news :)

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    • Hi Diana :)

      Yes, a good bunch of people. Interesting, thoughtful, sense of humour, etc. I meet some of them out and around on other blogs, but like real life friends, we all have different networks. It’s one of the interesting things about blogging, that no doubt you’ll discover. Sometime … ;) But seriously, it never fails to amaze me that people find some blogs interesting yet not others, and some people establish rapport but the same people commenting on the same blogs don’t. If you can understand that. I need my brunch!

      Thank you. It’s nice to write about not very good books from time to time, but I try and confine it to established authors who it won’t affect. Not significantly anyway :D

      I think I said above in comments, I like to break up the page with photos, and I really can’t be bothered to post too often so it’s nice to slap in a few pix, so thanks, and Snows does look cute doesn’t he? For a white dog, he remains remarkably clean these days although I have some dirty puppy pix :D

      I would say, to some degree there is truth/accuracy in it. There’s a lot of understatement used in daily speech. For example, when other traders would ask my dad or grandma what sort of day they’d had (ie money wise at work) they’d say ‘just fair’ which really meant ‘bloody good’. And I think people who have made money and got away from a poor background like to emphasise that. Ergo, the sketch.

      Well one is working better than the other still, but yes, a major step forward. Literally. Thanks :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • have now caught up on the comments —

        For travel reading, I usually find a library book to take along, or find one in the airport. Some of my favourite books are ones I just randomly picked up because the blurb on the back appealed (and my flip-to-a page and read a bit was appealing).
        Who are some of your favourite authors?

        As for the words of the year — I had to look up most. Refugee and Ad Block I at least recognized, along with “they” — although I didn’t know why that was a new word, until I read the definition. And after reading the definition of lumbersexual and following that web link to see who was considered such, there appears to be a disconnect between the definition and the men chosen. So that word is pretty useless.

        In my older age I have become slightly more open to the way language is changing. Slightly,

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        • Takes me all my time to keep up with comments …

          Favourite authors? Current, classical, best-sellers, indie or what? Depends whether it’s for a light read in which case I go for spy/crime, or a sink into a classic. So in those categories: le Carré, Deighton, John Lawton, Ian Fleming, Jack Higgins. Classics: Oscar Wilde, Dostoevsky, Bronte sisters, and zillions of others that don’t come to mind right now.

          I think some new words are idiotic. And reflect young people’s current fads. Not sure that’s the best criteria for acceptance. But still. Another cranky old person, me. I do however, like it when word usage reflects positive social change, and I consider the non-gender specific use of ‘they’ to be just that. Women are no longer pushed out of the way with ‘they’. It can mean anyone, which is a good thing.

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          • We may not share literary tastes. I have enjoyed le Carré, but have read none of the other authors in that first list, and hated Dostoyevski (his The Idiot ruined an entire summer’s worth of reading for me the year I was determined to enjoy a few classics). I shall have to check out Oscar Wilde.

            As for the changing language, my preference for a non-gender singular pronoun would be s/he — which might work in print, but not in conversation, so perhaps “they” will have to suffice.

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          • I have very broad literary tastes. I literally read anything as long as it doesn’t includedescriptive gratuitous violence. Mainly, what I read depends on whether I have time to indulge myself, or need a quick chill out. Rushdie and García Márquez fall into the indulgence category, as dors Le Carré. I forgot Graham Greene in my list. And Somerset Maugham. I like The Idiot. Still have a copy. Must read it again.
            I used to use s/he all the time, seemed eminently workable to me, but yes, works in print but not spoken. ‘Ess slash he,’ doesn’t quite do it.

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  8. Loved the pictures … give me an idea of what it looks like there, in your surroundings. I’ve watched a few Bones episodes. Not a series I got hooked on. I know dem bones dem bones … and I kept wondering if not Temperance suffered from some kind of syndrome, like Asperger’s. In the show, she has a total lack of empathy and social skills.

    The Board of the Swedish Language [or whatever] announces every year the new words they have ‘adopted’. They are mainly English words, modified into Swedish, somehow, and «Internet words». I sense they’re much quicker in adopting new words nowadays than they were before.

    As for the emoji, they ARE useful, at times. When I first came online, back in 1996, there were no emoji/smilies. I frequented a chat server, because I enjoyed ‘talking’ with strangers around the world. Noticed they often used *S*, which I found out meant *smiles*. At first, I thought it looked silly, but quickly realized it was sometimes needed to get the meaning across, in a fast paced, streaming chat. There were others, like *EG* for evil grin and so on. Eventually people started using :) or :-) but now we have those ready-made emojis :)

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    • Thanks Reb, love yours of St John’s too.

      I wondered how many people had seen the programmes so was interested to hear. I thought it was popular. Don’t know about Asperger’s, but she is pretty insular.

      You’ve written about English/Swedish words before which I’ve found really interesting. In the past, it used to be words like the French taking ‘le weekend’! In Spain not so much. A weekend is fin de semana, colloquially called ‘un finde’.

      I was online back then too but not for chat. Didn’t start that until 2006!

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      • I think Bones is a pretty popular show here.

        Seems kids in Sweden PREFER English over their own language. They keep mixing in English words in Swedish sentences, and more often, full expressions. Signs in shop windows, always say SALE nowadays, even though there’s a perfectly good, Swedish word for it. I’ve seen small cafés, out in the middle of nowhere, referring to themselves as ‘Diner’ … The general mentality seems to be that it sounds more «cool» in English …

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          • American! Big time! English-speakers who want to learn Swedish, have a hard time to practice … as soon as they [the Swedes] detect the slightest English or American accent, they switch.

            Thank you! :) That really warmed my heart … especially because it was from you, somehow ;)

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          • Gibbos are like that too. If you want to speak Spanish with them, you really have to be forceful. Many Brits say it’s impossible to learn Spanish here because of the bilingual skill. But once they know your Spanish us good enough they just mix it with you. Weird.

            It’s good. You’re more than welcome. I wouldn’t know you weren’t an English native speaker.

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  9. I’m so out of it. Never watched “Bones” as it bored me a bit – and I watch so little TV now. Even fewer movies. Totally opposite of younger years when we were all into “intellectual” critiques of such. Sometimes you want a bit of reading fluff – in and out of ears without sticking – but just haven’t had the time to spare…but don’t ask me what I do with time these days…oh, I go outside away from civilization’s noise as much as possible. Dog approved activity (Who seems to be all better at the moment.)
    So glad to see the beach journey! Loved the little picture of Snowy on the dark textured sand. Nice one. (as were many of the others). Is there surfing there? Never even thought of that. People here who don’t want to bother the short drive to the beach sometimes surf the waves from tankers in the channel – they motor out on small boats to get close enough. That dog chained up? Special breed or combo? Markings are interestingly like a leopard marked dog breed.
    Looks like some new people in the conversations here – must click over and explore. Fun to discover new blogs to read.
    As always a post full of great topics.

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    • TV? Ah yes. Screens, aerials and analogue. Ah, that’s why they don’t work. Apart from the dust blowing them up. Yes, I did watch films, trendy ones at that, years ago.

      Reading fluff is good. I like it. But these didn’t qualify. So good to hear M is better :)

      No surfing in the med at our place. We can get biiiiig waves to roll up and over on, but not surf capacity. Just great for swimming/floating. They carry you up, drop you down, and then go and make tiny surf nearer the beach. Not for the faint of heart though.

      Could be anything? Guessing a mix. Nice looking dog. I told him he was a good dog.

      New people? Dunno! Like a box of liquorice allsorts here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. None of those books appeal to me. Probably why I can’t write a best seller.
    But the house in Cyprus sounds nice, I have a friend in Paphos, so maybe I should read it?

    Oh, well… back to the word processor!

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    • I should really look into the figures again. Romance us the most popular, so why is it crime type books are always billed as best sellers? It’s not so much the subject matter that was bad. It was the poor writing.

      Nah. Just write about the South African underworld in the Observatory. If I wrote what I knew about Gib I’d end up in concrete boots :(

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I see that I voted with the majority on both polls. I’d not heard of ‘Lumbersexual’ before, but googled it and immediately thought of David Beckham.:) I also can’t get on with Kathy Reichs. Your beach walk looks quite adventurous. Well done on getting there and back again. Things are looking up. :)

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    • Interestingly neither reflect the OED polls. Glad I’m not alone with thinking her books are well, dull. Readable for a brain escape. I scan half of them.

      Beach walk was a real personal plus :) thanks. Am getting out a bit more in Gib too. Not sure I’ll be attempting the Pennine Way in a hurry.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad you are out and about (although a beach is not an even and stable platform to walk on – perhaps it’s good for reacquiring balance and exercising stabilizing muscles).

    Words . . . word of the year . . . can’t really bring myself to pick one word over another, so I cheated – and chose ‘ad block’. Of course, I had a mental image of a block where only ads live, but . . .

    As for the books you read . . . I can’t, any longer, bring myself to read any book I’m not interested in, and none of those would make the cut. I say ‘any longer’ because there was a time I did try and read everything I could get my hands in. I now regret having wasted so much time forcing myself to finish books I did not particularly enjoy.

    I did watch a season of Bones, but like all TV shows (and possibly, life) things just got more and more ‘strange’. I think the show went out of its way to not only showcase just how different the lead character is, but populate the cast with individuals who were also over-the-top quirky/strange and ‘unreal’ in their effort to be ‘real’.

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    • Thank you. Actually, both beach and rough ground are easier than asphalt or paving. I suspect it’s the absorbency.

      I thought it was an odd selection all round.

      There are books I have struggled to finish. One was Lorna Doone, the other was Tristram Shandy. And I never did get through Grapes of Wrath. That I remember. But reading all sorts of books is an occupational hazard. It’s rumoured to be good for authors too ;) Luckily when I’m not editing, I read quickly. And, if it’s dire, I will scan read.

      I was quite interested to hear what people have to say about the TV series as I thought it was popular. Not among my readers apparently.

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  13. Thanks for those beach pics–much needed! As for bestsellers…I just don’t know. I’ve read a few recently (though no crossover with your choices) in the hopes of a better grasp of what makes a bestseller a bestseller. *shrugs*

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  14. Gorgeous beach photos! Hope the ankle is mending.

    :-D I thought the “Tears of Joy” face was supposed to mean “laughing so hard you’re crying”. Shows you how uneducated I am.

    Reading your reviews, I experienced a variety of responses. Firstly, of course, the unashamed glee of a self-published writer that you as professional reviewer and editor enjoy some self-published stories better than some “No 1 Bestsellers” by the mainstream houses. Yay self-publishers!

    Secondly however I know now I won’t ask you to review “The Mystery of the Solar Wind” as we (Col and I) put any amount of reefing, tacking, mainstays and jibs in there (and it is a story on a sailing ship). Moreover, the story is in third person and the viewpoint shifts depending on which character is currently “driving” the story.

    There is such a lot of contradictory advice out there for writers that I suspect it’s pot luck which one chooses to follow. It was a literary critic who first advised me to put more technical detail into it, pointing out that scifi fans like their technology. Maybe I ought to post the “mad scientist” cloning scene in Solar Wind 2 – “The Assassin” on my blog.

    However, I can offer you a number of first-person YA stories by other authors under P’kaboo imprint, some are fantasy and one is crime fiction. That is, presuming (like your neighbour did) that you don’t have enough to read. :-D On the upside it’s all indie published, i.e. from the small publishing co I claim to run. ;-)

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    • & as for “Bones”, my oldest daughter is totally addicted to the series (TV), she went deeper and deeper into the morbid details of all that “Bones” uncovered… at some point I worried she might want to go into forensics herself, but thank goodness it was another phase, soon replaced with writing HP fanfic.

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    • Actually I don’t mind sailing books. I did find endless listing of bits of bones or different bones insufferably tedious. As you say, there’s any amount of advice out there. Which is of any use is pot luck.
      Thanks for the offer. I’m not taking on any more at the mo, still got a backlog. Plus, on this blog, I want to offer books that fit in with reader preferences that were indicated on the poll I did months ago.
      Bones … let’s hope the TV was more gripping than the books …

      Liked by 1 person

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