R is for Thoughts on Amazon and MemoRy (Amongst Other Things)

Illustration for Pamela
It is rather depressing to reflect on the authors I might have read, only I'm not sure because it was so long ago: Marilynne Robinson, for example (saw the movie Housekeeping; think I might have read the book).

Here are the ones I do remember:

Ayn Rand: Generally speaking, I detest negative reviews on Amazon--the ones that whine about the shipping or that read, "i hate this book it was stupid i didn't understand it."

I have found it far more helpful when doing my own purchasing to read 3 or 4 star reviews. 5 stars can be a little over the top ("this is the best book ever and if you don't agree with me, your [sic] stupid!") although some can be quite thoughtful, the equivalent of good literary analysis. 3 or 4 stars (it was good but here's what I didn't like) prove surprisingly helpful. I've bought numerous things after reading 3 star reviews, precisely because the reviewer's reasonable objections were either objections that I understood from a writing p.o.v. or ones that I could shrug off.

Now I must confess: I have written a completely negative review on Amazon, namely for Rand's Anthem, which I consider one of the dumbest books in the world.

I'd still defend her right to write it though.

Ray, Jeanne, the author of books like Step Ball Change and Eat Cake, comes highly recommended by several readers in my family (including me). Her books are lite but not gagging lite. Rather, they are quick, cute, funny, and insightful reads (think better-written sitcoms like Frasier). There is artistry in light comedy (more artistry, in fact, than can be found in a million serious tomes).

Raybourn, Deanna: I am a fan of her Julia Grey mystery series.

Rich, Virginia wrote detective novels, including The 27 Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders and The Baked Bean Supper Murders. I remember those books positively. (I don't remember the murderers!)

Richardson, Samuel naturally! Although it's a strange book, I enjoy Pamela and have written my own tribute/literary analysis of what is widely considered the first English novel.

Richter, Conrad wrote the The Light in the Forest, one of the better assigned novels from high school.

In the world of unread books, I recommend Conall Ryan's House of Cards. I read it years ago and own it. It is an unusual book about a man teaching poker to a group of students as a form of self-discipline. The book delves into the life of each character, including the teacher. The book deals (yes, deliberate pun) with what people are willing to "bet" (sacrifice, give up, depend on). (Despite owning the book, I haven't read it in awhile, so my review here is based on memory.)

House of Cards, which is not well known, proves that there is a reader out there for every book, a gratifying thought.

Roosevelt, Elliot is the author I read for the first A-Z list.

Ross, Kate: Ending on a sad note, Kate Ross wrote a wonderful series of historical detective novels, starring Julian Kestrel. I own the set. Unfortunately, the rather youthful Ross died of cancer at age 41, so though the series ends strong, it certainly doesn't end where originally planned!

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