Friday, July 30, 2010

True Believer

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Don't tell anyone, keep this to yourself, but I'm a bit of a book snob. I know if you read this blog, you will be shocked at this news but yes, it is true. Probably the biggest difficulty I had working at a public library was that the masses of people read the same authors as they crank out book after book that are largely the same formulaic drivel. James Patterson, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, The Kellermans, David Baldacci, Nicholas Sparks. If you've read one, you've read them all yet people read them all. I don't get it. There are tons of books out there. Try something different.

The thing is, for the most part, I have not read any of those authors I named.

Well, this past weekend was Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I was assigned to one of the media rooms for the entire weekend. One was the library at the Hall, the other was the gymnasium at Cooperstown High School. We were told that this assignment was largely boring and to "bring something to read". Friday I was at the library and it was true. We had a handful of media throughout the day, none of which needed any assistance. But I was in the library and did some work.

I assumed that all the media must be at the high school and so I figured Saturday would be busy and I did not bring a book. Wrong in a big way. The media attend the event and then go somewhere pleasant to work, not a small library a mile away and not an un-air-conditioned high school gymnasium. Nothing to do again. Fortunately, one of my fellow interns brought an extra book. Unfortunately, it was a Nicholas Sparks title.

Given the choice of Sparks and twiddling my thumbs, I opted for the former. Besides, it would allow me to disparage said "literature" from an informed standpoint. It is a great book. It must be since it has spent a month on the New York Times bestseller list, right?

Mr. Sparks did not disappoint. Simplistic language, stereotypes galore, extremely predictable story, inane conversations as filler, narrative jumping from character to character with no rhyme or reason. In this particular story, an investigative reporter from New York City goes to a tiny town in North Carolina to examine reports of unusual lights attributed to ghosts. The town librarian is a babe. The two fall for one another. But how will it work? He's a big city reporter and she's a small town librarian? Will true love prevail? And are the ghosts real?

Who cares? Not me. The pair are good-looking, make a comfortable living. Their lives are very nice before the "conflict" of their mutual attraction. There's nothing gripping about them. It's the literary equivalent of Brad and Angelina. It's sort of cute and Sparks does keep things moving which is the only reason I'm not rating it a don't read.

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