Book Reviews, Reading

This is why I don’t buy books

Portrait of a Byzantine empress, possibly Theo...
Portrait of a Byzantine empress, possibly Theodora. 6th century a.D. In the Museum of Ancient Art in the Castello sforzesco in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, january 6 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love books as much as the next writer. But I’m poor, so I typically opt to borrow them from the library rather than purchasing them. The book I bought at Barnes & Noble the other day reminded me why I shouldn’t bother purchasing books at all.

I picked up a historical novel about the Byzantine empress, Theodora that looked like it might be a good read. I do think it could have been an intriguing story, but the writing was terrible. (I’m not going to tell you the name of the novel because I don’t really believe in writing bad reviews. I’d like to be a published author someday and know I’d rather do without internet trolls raving on about how horrible my work is.)

Although the author is a historian who seems to know her facts, her novel is an excellent example of how poor writing can take a true story and render it completely unbelievable. Her attempt to create language that is authentic to the time is feeble at best. The constant use of clichés and modern colloquialisms kept dragging me out of the story as I had to continually remind myself what time period I was reading about.  

Did I really spend $15 on this book? Why yes. Yes, I did. And I forced myself to read the whole damn thing, because dammit, I spent $15 on this book! Even though I wanted to throw it out the window before I had managed to finish the first chapter.

I have another horrible book sitting on my coffee table at the moment. I checked this one out from the library for free. I have no intention of finishing it. In fact, I plan to return it to the library as soon as I decide what books I would like to check out next. Got any suggestions for me? Please share in the comments below.

~Mandy Webster

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