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Plot holes are something every author who writes books that are part of a series instead of stand-alone novels have to deal with. It's easy to think that it is something that only novice writers encounter, but there are a surprising number of "big name" authors who are guilty of plot holes too. Even the mighty J. R. R. Tolkien wasn't exempt from it either when he wrote his Lord of the Rings titles and George R. R. Martin has fallen prey to them as well. I have encountered the most amount of plot holes in fantasy books, but thrillers appear to be quite susceptible to them as well. My favorite example is Dan Brown who is a world famous author, but scrutinizing any of his novels too closely reveals a staggering amount of plot holes. What makes it even more amusing is how he claims that everything is based on real facts. The amount of characters in books who are severely lacking in common sense purely to drive the plot forward is also a topic that could cover volumes.
Seeing as I am an animal lover I read a lot of non-fiction books about wild animals. I know that these books will be exciting or interesting, so I suppose it would be a stretch to say that any of them really surprised me in this regard. Typically, I'm more often than not surprised when an interesting sounding non-fiction book turns out to be a dud. I can tell you what one of my favorites is, though, it's a book by a South African conservationist called Lawrence Anthony titled The Elephant Whisperer. It came out in 2009 I believe, only a few years before the untimely death of the author. His book is about a herd of wild African elephants that was supposed to be shot because they were seen as a danger, but then Anthony intervened to save them. He has his hands full with the animals when he tries to keep them on his conservationist game sanctuary as they are very adept at escaping. What touched my heart is that Anthony knew the elephants would be put down if he didn't care for them, so he never gave up on them. It is a brilliant book that describes perfectly how much hard work goes into conservation, but also the amount of passion and dedication some people has for it.
If you want books with Martians probing cows and whatnot, you'll find plenty of them in the science fiction section of your favorite bookstore. On the other hand, if you want something that is thought provoking, insightful, touching and feminist, then you have to read The Fresco by the late, great Sheri Stewart Tepper. When aliens make contact in this book they don't take the cliched "take me to your leader" route and instead turn a young woman into their link with the Earth. The aliens are also peaceful, but as with any type of contact between different cultures, it causes quite a bit of upheaval. In the end, the young woman not only has to step up and save her own people, but also the aliens. The Fresco is an absolutely fabulous book and one of my favorite first contact books of all time.