That thought occurred to me as I was looking, for a possible review, at a book coming out later this year. The first sign that something was wrong was when I was 15 pages into it and I still really had no idea of what it was about. (I knew it was about some aspect of modern warfare, but no indication of what this book was bringing to the party.)
But the red warning light came on when the authors started using lots of italicized words. That’s a sure sign that the writing isn’t really doing its job. The more writers use italics to make their points, the less persuasive those points tend to be.
I get hundreds of books a year in the mail. At any given time, I have about 60 to 80 waiting to get their turn. Almost every one eventually gets about 15 to 30 minutes from me to persuade me to stick with it. I’ll usually check the introduction and conclusion before rejecting a book for review. But because I have so many on hand, I really am looking for reasons to put a book down. I realized that italics are one of the signs.
PS--After I wrote the above, another heavily italicized book arrived. It was a deeply troubled tome, trying to be readable but laden with academic clichés.
Btw, I generally only try to review good books. There are so many bad books that there is no reason to call attention to them, unless other people are calling a bad book good.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL officer accused of failing to properly report alleged war crimes carried out by one of his men was arraigned on Tuesday in San Diego.
After being informed of his rights, Lt. Jacob Portier did not enter a plea or choose whether he'd ask for a jury or bench trial, since his civilian attorney has raised questions over a protective order in the case.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email email@example.com with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."