Monday, June 19, 2006

My New Toy And A DNF

I got my new toy over the weekend - an MP3 player! My main reason for forking over the cash? (Although it was surprisingly affordable)


I am an audio book junkie, mainly because there is no way in Hell I'm ever going to be able to "read" all the books I want to. I rely on audio to keep up with my mystery, general fiction and non-fiction interests. However, working for a very large library system (with a miniscule AV budget) has meant very long waiting lists for audiobooks - and when I do get them the quality sucks eggs because the evil patrons keep scratching the poop out of the CDs. Drat those patrons!

However this past year we signed a contract with Overdrive to provide e-audiobooks and I kept meaning to try them - but no MP3 player. And I guess I could have burned them onto CD but frankly that seems like "work" and I'm nothing if not lazy. So once The Boyfriend landed his New Job and we got ourselves out from under credit card debt, I decided to give myself a treat.

All I have to do is hook my MP3 player up to an FM transmitter and voila! Audio books in my car without having to juggle CDs.

I'm listening to The Island by Heather Graham right now.

In other news, I went to grab another Harlequin Historical to read Sunday and nothing jumped out at me. So I picked up Cutting Through by Joan Hohl, one of the early Harlequin Next novels. Big mistake. I've decided to chuck it after 65 pages. Why? Well...

I always find it amusing on message boards when readers say, "Well I had to stop reading that historical book because the author called the heroine Lady SoAndSo and that isn't correct - she merely would have been called Miss SoAndSo and golly, it just pulled me right out of the story!"

Most of the time I think "Oh honey get over it." I mean, I have a degree in British history and frankly the names, ranks and general bs of titles is so absurd that I tend to overlook them. Sorry, I do. But then, I like to read about "the little people" falling in love so what do I know.

Well Cutting Through had a "pulling out of the story" moment for me. One of the heroines is married to a neurosurgeon, and their marriage is on the rocks. One reason why? Their teenage daughter needed spinal surgery and he said he wouldn't operate on his own daughter. The heroine was incensed.

OK, anyone else see a problem with this?

Now contrary to popular belief, doctors are not gods. They make mistakes - hence malpractice insurance. I can't imagine any doctor anywhere being comfortable cutting into their child's spinal region. It's perfectly natural for me to believe that this guy wouldn't want to do that. Personally, I think it's a bad thing when surgeons begin to feel "fear" when they're operating on a patient. To a certain extent, I would imagine one has to remain detached. Sure bed side manner is great - but I'd rather have a doctor who is calm and cool under pressure than one who is emotionally wrought because he's cutting me open. That's just me though.

I mean, the heroine works in radiology for cripes sake. I know it's one of her babies - but she doesn't stop to consider why her husband doesn't want to wield a scalpel over his own flesh and blood.

And what happened to the girl? The guy got his mentor to do the operation, he assisted, and it was a success. The bastard!

It just drove me crazy. Nitpicking? Oh sure. Will I continue reading the book. No. Besides this incident that just bugged the crap out of me, nothing else happens in those first 65 pages to make me want to keep reading.

I never should have left Harlequin Historical.


Susan Wilbanks said...

I have to speak up and defend the title/form of address nitpickers. Is it important? Not really. But it's so very easily researched that I have little patience with authors who can't take five minutes with Google to get it right.

I felt the same way about a book with a baseball player hero when it became obvious halfway through the book that the author knew less about baseball than I do--and I consider myself a very average fan. I follow my team closely, but I'm not a stathead and I don't know much about what goes on behind the scenes. If I ever write a book with a ballplayer hero, I'll learn a lot more before I ever set pen to paper (er, fingers to keyboard). So it frustrated me to pick up a book specifically because the baseball setting intrigued me, only to have that setting ring false because the author hadn't done her homework.

Alyssa said...

Ugh. I would have stopped reading too. Talk about forced conflict! I'd be more worried about the guy if he volunteered to operate and was all ready to dig in.

Nicole said...

Umm...I always thought there were ethics problems with doctors operating on their own family. Like it was a no-no.

Hey, I'm getting a new toy too!

Jennie said...

I'm going to have to check out what my library offers on e-audiobooks. I've never been an big audiobook fan (I'm always annoyed because the pace is so much slower than you could read), but recently thought I'd try out downloading some from iTunes. But those suckers are expensive!! At least $25 for unabridged. Way out of my budget.

Wendy said...

Susan - it's funny what bothers readers. Title snafus never bother me, but a lot of readers get really annoyed. In turn, this doctor business irritated the heck out of me, and it likely wouldn't matter to another reader.

Nicole - I'm not sure about ethics, but frankly that makes sense. I need to ask my Mommy - who is an RN and answers all of my medical questions for me :-)

Alyssa - LOL, now I'm wondering if the heroine wanted him to stand over their daughter fingering his handle-bar mustache like Snidley Whiplash. Don't worry my dear, this won't hurt a bit....

Jennie - aren't you in a major metropolitan area? If so, the library probably does have e-audios. Audiobooks are a godsend for me. Besides giving me something to listen to on my morning commute, it helps me keep up with all my non-romance reading.