This is Pamela Bond-Contractor's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Pamela Bond-Contractor's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Pamela Bond-Contractor
Recent Activity
Hello, all. As Marilyn's friend who misspoke at lunch the other day, I thought I'd take the opportunity to reinforce my view that genre fiction is as worthy a reading venue as literary fiction--and most of the time, it's more enjoyable. It also reaches a wider audience and does readers, authors, publishers, booksellers, and libraries a big service (recorded versions, too). I am an avid lover of well-wrought mysteries, a la P.D. James and so many others of her ilk, where astute authors plumb the human mind and heart in ways both psychological and universal, revealing us to ourselves--all the while entertaining and challenging us greatly with convoluted puzzles. Mysteries are my favorite genre, and I also very much love historical fiction--especially when a mystery is involved. The particular book in Marilyn's post appealed to me because it forced me to think about the world of the story in ways I usually would not. So in addition to the beautiful writing, I found that the content exercised my mind--and my patience, truth to tell (I doubt I would read it again). And that was what I was thinking when I made my too-quick comment. Marilyn's tastes and mine overlap a lot more than they differ. Where we do part ways is that Marilyn is more articulate than I in a group setting--I am usually nervous and try to spit out thoughts while I see a brief gap in the conversation before others can lose interest in what I have to say. Often, this leads to misstatements, which aren't so much "wrong" as they are "incomplete," "ill-considered," and "ill-timed." I am a very grateful member of Marilyn's book groups and love her shop. Although I don't like every book we read to the same extent, I always appreciate it and am richer for having read it. And my life has been enriched by sharing a deep love of reading with our fellow members. Happy holidays! And I agree--books are great gifts. P.S. to Marilyn: Maybe Bill would like Steven Johnson's "How We Got to Now--Six Innovations That Made the Modern World." My academic/engineer husband loved it, as well as the recent PBS series based on it.
1 reply
So true, Marilyn. This is a time not only for mourning, but for taking a hard look at gun control, mental health funding, and home and community support. The troubled young man who committed the atrocity in Newtown fell through the net, with only a single mom to catch him--and she ultimately couldn't do it, not alone. Having been the single mother of a young son in turmoil, I know how easy it is to fall into despair when you are isolated and have few resources. When despair turns to mental disintegration--and when this state of mind is paired with easily available assault weaponry, as it was in Newtown--a calamity that goes way beyond what we thought we knew about tragedy ensues. Let's hug our children a little tighter; but let's also extend a hand to our neighbors and their kids. A little kindness and support may just help avoid another heart-wrenching disaster.
1 reply
Also, some books are scanned or entered by volunteers. Beware especially of free books rendered this way for your e-reader.
1 reply
Wish I could visit such places before they disappear. Are they the same in the US as in the UK? I share your (early) grief at the passing of dust-cover publishing.
1 reply
Sounds like a dream setting. Best of luck in it your new home.
1 reply
Charming story...I'll have to spend more time walking around Main Street!
1 reply
Thanks for this information--I signed in just to start poking around. One of the Collections, Medium's Fiction Writing Contest, relates to NaNoWriMo, which would probably interest Benjamin: https://medium.com/mediums-fiction-writing-contest.
1 reply
Sounds like you're having a blast, Marilyn! Be sure to start the list of books we'll be reading over the next year to prepare for our road trip to Bouchercon 2013 in Albany.
1 reply
Lynne, as a fellow editor, I'd love a chance to chat by email if/when you have the time: pcontractor@ellipsisenterprises.com. My career has come to a standstill as I try (vainly!) to transition from academic/scientific editing for a philanthropic foundation (http://www.ellipsisenterprises.com/portfolio.htm) to working directly with authors, academic, fiction, or other. Knowing how to bring my small editorial consultancy t the attention of the right people is proving to be very difficult. I'm assuming that your clients are all or primarily in the UK, and I am based in the US, so I wouldn't expect us to be competing for the same projects. Thanks for considering this--I'd love some input. Pam
1 reply
I would love to have been Deborah Kerr as she was in "An Affair to Remember" (witty, beautiful, courageous, just slightly shallow), not in "From Here to Eternity" (witty, beautiful, embittered, just slightly tarnished). Only a couple or three of those adjectives apply to who I've become, and I'm not saying. . . . Enjoyed your comical (and short) reminiscences! There's also something poignant about looking back to our child selves, isn't there.
1 reply
Ooh, must have still had some jetlag when I mixed up the names. Apologies, Damon! Your comment is interesting, but it is surprising to hear that more than one ethnic reading works for the same character. At least you were satisfied with the result!
1 reply
Belated thanks, Meriel! Just saw this message today and found your note in my FB account. Sent one in return. Do give Anne a try--I don't think you'll regret it. Thanks again, Pam
1 reply
An honest and well-balanced perspective on your policies and priorities, Marilyn. I just heard about this book in a Facebook post by my 20-something niece, who said: "First 7 chapters of 'Shades of Grey' odd and disturbing. Please tell me it gets better because if this is why everyone reads the book, something is wrong." Two of her friends commented: "I heard it doesn't get good until after chapter 8." And: "It gets a little better (steamier definitely!), but I still found it disturbing." Just thought I'd share what the younger generation is saying about it. It seems they are self-filtering. I think this is your point. We live in a country where we are free to choose what we read and what we sell. Banning books from public libraries in Florida or anywhere else is unconstitutional (although lines do have to be drawn to protect the public from bomb builders and snuff filmmakers--I think). Just as disturbing is that this is a state that needs Justice Department intervention to prevent it from trimming its voter rolls by spurious means. Anyway, we can be thankful that we live in a country where individual judgment and choice are championed. Let's hope our state governments don't get any more ideas to the contrary. Best wishes, Pam
1 reply
Hello! I agree with Jeff and Adele and am in sympathy with Meriel. I love historical fiction, particularly mysteries, and want very badly to trust that the author knows more than I do--not only about the era, but about the humans who inhabited it--and, yes, how they actually used language. As I commented in Jeff Cohen's audiobook piece, it is important for readers/listeners to have faith in the authors and publishers whose work we prize. If I became aware of blatant (or even subtle) errors or obviously bad (or even nonexistent) editing, I would abandon an author's work. One Victorian mystery writer whose oeuvre I greatly admire is Anne Perry. It at least seems to me that she does copious amounts of research and is consistent from book to book and series to series. I have learned things about 19th-century London that I would never have known otherwise, thanks to her. But if I ever find that she is hoodwinking me with bad information, I will be crestfallen and loath to pick up another William Monk or Thomas Pitt book--captivating and engaging or not. And, by the way, her dialogue is extraordinary as well and certainly "feels right." I hope it is. One last thing: Thanks for the insightful review, but do you really need to hide the identity of the book and author? Books and authors are certainly subjected to criticism all the time, good, bad, and mixed. I'd like to know which book you read and who the author was as words to the wise. Best wishes, Pam
1 reply
Hello, Jeff and Aaron. Interesting discussion, and I look forward to reading more. I am a big fan of audiobooks so thought I'd share a few thoughts. Having always wondered about the recording process, I went to hear an audiobook reader speak at the library one night. His process was entirely different--much less extemporaneous, much more studied. He received page proofs from the publisher just before print publication, read them more than once, and heavily notated them with colored markers to denote characters so he could stay in voice for each and retain proper emphasis and so forth. In addition, he researched the pronunciation of certain English and foreign words and place names. I thought this all made good sense, but everyone has his/her own style--and I appreciate the perspective of retaining "voice surprise" as the story unfolds. What troubled me in what I read here, Aaron, is that you mischaracterized the ethnicity of a recurring character. I haven't heard your audiobooks and am sure your acting talent was put to good use, but as a listener I would have been jarred by this and become mistrustful of the production company. This reaction is similar to your frustration at having to wade through the debris of unedited writing, which is unnerving and annoying, isn't it. Marilyn and I were discussing this after our reading group meeting last night, and she told me about two popular authors whose work had glaring errors--such as changed character names that hadn't been caught and other egregious oversights (or never-looked-ats)--and I believe she said she actually abandoned one of these authors. (Marilyn, correct me if I got it wrong.) I am also a professional developmental editor and would like to see samples of such bad writing so I can discuss it in my writing and editing blog (keeping the authors anonymous, of course). Sample sentences, names of publishers who don't use good (or any) editors, or whatever you could comfortably and easily send would be much appreciated. Email or fax to: pcontractor@ellipsicon.net / 908-788-1999. Jeff, enjoyed your talk at Twice Told Tales/Moonstone in April, jetlag and all. Hope to see you again. Love your book titles and look forward to reading your series soon. Best wishes to both of you, Pam
1 reply
Pamela Bond-Contractor is now following The Typepad Team
Jun 8, 2012