Three quick hits…

Next up: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

A busy weekend prevented me from reading my weekly short story already, but I did draw a card from the deck, getting the five of hearts, which directs me to read Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I know I’ve read this before, but it may have been almost 20 years ago now.  I’m looking forward to revisiting it in more depth now that I have a couple more decades of reading under my belt.  Any Washington Irving fans out there?

Andy Rooney probably considers me the enemy

A co-worker pointed out to me that Andy Rooney’s bit at the end of 60 Minutes last night was about e-readers, and how he prefers books.  (Everyone who’s surprised, please raise their hands.  Anyone?!?)  Anyway, here is a link to watch his piece.  Nothing too surprising there for me.  I agree and appreciate there is comfort in being surrounded by books in your office or workspace (I am too – at my home “office” anyway) but I love the accessibility AND the portability of lugging around the equivalent of a few crates of books with you at all times.  I think he didn’t like that one of his older efforts was a free eBook now, too.  Oh well, he gets paid to be a crotchety old man, doesn’t he?  Anyone catch this last night?  Or what do you think after watching the link to the video?

I started reading The Help

This is my book club’s book for March.  It’s a bit longer so I thought I’d better get started.  My first thoughts are that it’ll go fairly quick, BUT I hate (I absolutely HATE) reading books with non-standard English dialects spelled out (like saying “Law..” when the speaker means “Lord…” or “instead a” rather than “instead of.”  I guess the dialogue wouldn’t read true otherwise, but it feels like I’m playing a musical instrument that’s been tuned wrong, and will have to make an adjustment back to “normal” English when I’m done.  Maybe this is me being a literary snob.  Does this bother anyone else?

-Jay

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10 Comments

  1. Melody said,

    March 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I know a lot of people who cannot stand written dialect, so you definitely aren’t alone. I tend to like it if it’s done well, it’s so much fun to read aloud (assuming, of course, you are alone–or only in the presence of adoring children or pets).

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    • Jay said,

      March 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      I don’t have any of those. 🙂 This is the book that I downloaded a sample of the audio version, and after finishing the sample thought I would struggle listening to the actual spoken dialect for so many pages as well. I should probably just “stop whining and start reading!”
      -Jay

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  2. Alex said,

    March 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

    But without the dialects clearly visible, how would we know how the people speak?

    Would “‘How are you, Love’ – he asked in a deep Irish accent” be enough to actually bring it to life?

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    • Jay said,

      March 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      You make an excellent point, and I am in agreement. It just is difficult for me to read… (he said resignedly) 🙂
      -Jay

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  3. JaneGS said,

    March 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I am not a fan of eye-dialect myself, which is kinda weird because I love Gaskell and most of her dialogue is in dialect, but anyway that is why I decided to listen to an unabridged Help instead of reading it. Sometimes I really do prefer the audio version, and this is one of them.

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    • Jay said,

      March 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Jane,
      THanks for the comment, and thanks for teaching me a new word, “eye-dialect”. It’s funny, as I’ve moved on to my next book, Michael Faber’s Under The Skin, and “all was well” until about 50 pages in I got into some Scottish Highlands eye-dialect! Stop the madness! 🙂
      -Jay

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  4. Ms. Dawn said,

    March 11, 2011 at 12:02 am

    It always bothers me at first…but, by the time I’ve bonded with a book, I’ve bonded with the dialect, too, which helps me remember the time or area in which the book takes place. Unfortunately, by mid-book my own thoughts form in the same dialect I’m reading, when I’m NOT reading…THAT irritates me! lol

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    • Jay said,

      March 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Ms. Dawn,
      Thanks for the comment and the visit. Yes, that would be a problem! 🙂 You’re right, though, eventually I get used to it as a reader and it’s not as cumbersome as it is in the early going.
      -Jay

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  5. March 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I just finished “The Help” a month ago for bookclub and I entirely agree with you! The dialect threw me off every time.

    In the end I didn’t like it 😦 but maybe it’ll get better for you. I thought the issues it focused on were interesting but the characters themselves fell flat for me.

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    • Jay said,

      March 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Erica,

      I’m interested to see how my book club liked this one too. I liked it well enough, I suppose. I kind of agree with you as far as some of the characters, especially Hilly Holbrook – for me, anyway – I expected to pack a little more punch as a villain before the end, but she kind of just fell apart…

      Coincidentally, I had just read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time a little over a week ago, and as you recall, The Help refers to that (far superior) book several times. Maybe I would’ve thought more of this one if it didn’t suffer by comparison with that classic of similar subject matter…

      -Jay

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