I like learning something new every day.
TV:If someone had told me when I was a teenager that, when I was 40, I would be a fan of a show about selling used cars, I would have laughed myself silly. But I like King of Cars on A&E a lot. It is neat, watching good sales technique and also seeing what works and what doesn't.
There was a bit on one of last night's episodes where two sales teams were competing against each other. One sales team waved hello to a customer as he drove up. Someone from the other sales team walked up to the customer, introduced himself, and started talking to him as the first team looked on, stunned that the sale they wanted had been taken from them right from under their noses. Truly, sales is a job for go-getters. If you stand around waiting, you won't sell much.
This show almost makes me think I could sell cars, except I have these little issues of not being really interested in cars and not having a salesman personality. *snicker* Ah well!
Books: My book of the moment is Hemlock at Vespers, which is a collection of 15 Sister Fidelma mystery stories by Peter Tremayne--murder mysteries, not religious mysteries. They are pretty good mysteries, but Tremayne occasionally uses modern speech patterns in his dialogue instead of more period ones, as Ellis Peters always used in her Brother Cadfael novels. Tremayne has one of his characters say "asthma medication," where Peters would have had the character say something like, "herbs for his breathing."
Another thing I don't like about Tremayne's style of writing is that he has characters explain Irish Gaelic terms in their conversation even after he has already given a definition earlier in the story. If a reader can't remember, after two pages, that a bo-aire is an unlanded chieftain who owns a large herd of cattle, that reader needs to visit a neurologist and get assessed for possible stroke. And making the characters' conversation sound contrived, like a Brian Lamb interview, is absurd. When Lamb asks a guest on Booknotes, "Who was Abraham Lincoln?" we know he does it to educate people, even though it sounds silly. But if a writer has already explained the meaning of a term in narrative, the term need not be explained again in dialogue. Dialogue has to sound natural.
Anyway, I feel like I have already read the cream of the crop, Ellis Peters, and Tremayne's work is like sloppy seconds, even though the stories are good. It's like reading an amateur historical writer after having read Anne Perry--disappointing.