I am a voracious reader and have been faithfully setting reading goals for myself on Goodreads since 2013. Due to a move and job change in 2014, I ended up reading the most I've ever read in a year, 117 books. While I haven't been able to read nearly that much since, I do strive to read at least 50 books per year.
Now that reading transcripts is my full-time job, finding time to read for pleasure has become quite a challenge. I've always preferred fiction over non-fiction when it comes to reading for pleasure, and I've come across several books recently that are quick, yet satisfying reads that I can squeeze in between transcripts.
You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
Curtis Sittenfeld has written two of my favorite books of the past several years, American Wife and Sisterland. This book, a collection of short stories, is just as captivating and engrossing as her novels. Each story feels modern and relatable, set in the '90s through present day. I'm always amazed when an author can take just a few pages to give us everything we need to know about the characters, and she does this masterfully.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
I absolutely adore this short story collection by one of my favorite authors, Jhumpa Lahiri. Her ability to share the Indian-American experience and weave completely relatable stories makes her a true master of her craft. While these stories are not light reading, they are captivating in their nature. A bonus read by Lahiri for when you have extra reading time is her novel, The Namesake.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Written as a series of letters, this novel is set in the shadow of WWII as Germany has taken over the island of Guernsey located in the English Channel. Juliet, a writer living in London, begins a correspondence with members of a secret book club in Guernsey. The story unfolds from there and you are blessed to become acquainted with some of the greatest characters ever written.
Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
Helen McGill is tired of being her adult brother's cook and maid, and on a whim, purchases a traveling bookshop and sets out on an adventure. One of the things that makes this book incredible is the fact that it was written in 1917 and has an independent woman as its main character. At less than 200 pages, this is a humorous and quick read, perfect for anyone who loves books.
My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout
This is one of my favorite books of all time. This novel is written very much like a series of connected short stories. Lucy Barton's life is examined in a series of vignettes, from her childhood and strained relationship with her parents in Amgash, Illinois, to her adult life as a wife and mother. Strout wrote a companion book to My Name is Lucy Barton called Anything is Possible.
What are some of your favorite quick reads?
As a proofreader, it is my job to be the final set of eyes on my reporters' transcripts, and most importantly it's my job to find the tricky errors that spell check and free programs like Grammarly aren't going to find. Helping my reporters produce the most professional and polished transcript is always top priority. When I look good, they look good!
I've yet to come across a transcript where I didn't find errors. Though some errors are easier to spot than others, such as simple misspellings or sentences with no ending punctuation, most errors are more subtle and harder to catch. Here are 5 tricky errors that I see regularly in my proofreading business.
1. Those Tricky Homophones...
...especially when they pop up in the same transcript!
principle/principal. I see these in insurance company depos a lot!
brake/break. Both of these are nearly always used in those car accident depos.
you're/your. Even my most meticulous reporters can make this goof. I mean, it's easy to do when writing so fast; right?
2. Pubic vs. Public
That tiny letter "l" can make quite the difference!
3. Using the Wrong Attorney's Name
I've seen it all with this one! I recently had a transcript say that Mr. Smith had left the deposition. His co-counsel Ms. Taylor continued the examination. Suddenly Mr. Smith appeared again with a question! Since he hadn't actually returned, I knew that Ms. Taylor was still asking the questions.
Incorrect spellings of attorneys' names also show up quite frequently. Occasionally, I even see Mr. for Ms. and vice versa.
4. Steven/Stephen and Phillip/Philip
These are the names I see most frequently used interchangeably in transcripts. A simple search for the wrong spelling can help find these rogue misspellings! The trick, though, is realizing that these two spellings are even popping up throughout the transcript.
5. Tricky A.M./P.M. Errors
I suppose it's possible that the deposition began at 1:34 a.m., but it's more likely that it was 1:34 p.m., especially when the final parenthetical notes that the depo ended at 4:11 p.m. Otherwise, that was a REALLY long deposition!
BONUS! Punctuation errors!
Whether you love or hate the Oxford comma, whether you prefer just a sprinkling of commas for readability, sometimes adding those commas are an absolute must for the transcript to make sense. Just sayin'....
What types of errors do you most want your proofreader to catch? Comment below!
Need help with proofreading? Comment below or contact me via email! I'd be happy to help!