I suggested this one ;D
So, I first read this book last year whilst in China. My friend, who I was there with, was posted it by her librarian Mum, so of course I read it after her. I absolutely adored it, I was so involved! I love the back stories about the things that are in the manusript. I even learnt some history (although the backstories are fictional, some of the more general details about the periods taught me things!)
I'm hoping other people have read it, there are just so many things we can talk about! There are so many themes and characters [act]nudges who hasn't read it to go do so![/act]
Just making sure that everyone sees that this is now out in the main Library, not the sub-board. Come discuss!
I borrowed People of the Book today - haven't read a lot yet, but I'm really enjoying it! I'm finding the setting interesting, as it's not the usual sort of environment that a book is set in - really made me think about how lucky we are, and how we might react if someone started attacking us...
I like the main character's references to her job, especially her analysis of the colours in the book - it really makes you think about how much people went through in the past, to make their beautiful paintings and illuminated manuscripts. :)
So Zie - did you finish the book yet? It just took me about 5 minutes to remember what happens in the end, but I did :P
I don't remember finding the male characters too sterotypical, which chracters particularly irked you?
I think in any book, not just short story collections, there are going to be segments that you think are better written than others since it's being written by a human. Writing standard is not a set quantity :P I agree that you have stories in collections that you like more, but then again they are scenes and parts of other books that I like more than others too. Sometimes I think it's not so much that the writing itself is of a hugely lesser standard, but more that certain stories engage different people. I guess that affects people more in collections of short stories, or books like this where there are quite a few stories interweaved, because if you didn't like the story of a novel you wouldn't read it! But in a collection one story may absolutely speak to you and you love it, and another just isn't your thing, but might be someone else's.
Not that I'm trying to say you're wrong in saying some might be better written than others! Just that I think perhaps personal preference for stories can make us more (or less) critical of aspects of them, such as the writing style.