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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

I warned you there was no book this week, but I still wanted to write something for you, and came up with the idea of sharing quotes from books I have read. The purpose is to give an insight into the writing style of the book and perhaps encourage people to read books they’ve never tried.

I wanted to start with a particular favourite but I couldn’t find it (the horror!) so went for a Man Booker prize winner that I read a few years ago and ought to revisit – The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai.

I opened it up at random a few times to see what floated my thought boat and I found this:

Then there was the cat, Mustafa, a sooty hirsute fellow demonstrating a perfection of containment no amount of love or science could penetrate.  He was, at this moment, starting up like a lorry on Sai’s lap, but his eyes looked blankly right into hers, warning her against mistaking this for intimacy.

I was pleased to have found this section, having been told it is International Cat Day today – sometimes the fates align for most peculiar things!

I don’t remember if I enjoyed the book or not, but I feel like I ought to give it a second chance to have a positive impact on me, so onto the list it goes!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

 

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As I said on Sunday I haven’t read anything this week.

It’s been quite nice actually: the only words I have been reviewing are my own.

There are pros and cons to reading when you are writing, but for now there are too many cons. Mainly, I don’t want to lose the voice I have developed for each piece.

I probably won’t start a new book before I go off to the family wedding in a couple of weeks, because that’s when I expect to stop working on the new poems.

But, as always, I reserve the right to charge my mind.  After all, I might see a funky cover, and you know I’m a sucker for one of those…!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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I finally finished my book! which was Bodily Harm, by Margaret Atwood.

I am not sure how to discuss this one. It’s taken longer than expected to read, and the tone changed dramatically in the last 35 pages which took it into an entirely different direction to the one I had expected.

The majority of the story is about Rennie, a journalist whose life has been fundamentally changed by breast cancer.  Trying to escape from her post-surgery life, she seeks an assignment far away from the complications of her newly aware existence.  She leaves behind her old partner, an affair with her oncologist, and an invisible but frightening voyeur/predator/house-breaker who left a rope on her bed after breaking into her flat.

She arrives on the island of St Antoine ready to write a travel piece but before long she is unwittingly and unwillingly caught up in the politics of the island and its neighbour Ste Agathe.

This book is partially a reverie on body confidence and the sense of loving and trusting our bodies, even when faced with challenges.  As Rennie becomes more involved with the mysterious American Paul, she begins to accept her newly scarred body.

However, it is also a tale of corruption, violence and danger, and although there is an underlying menace throughout, this really takes hold of Rennie’s story in the last 50 or so pages, with the outcome being the main focus of the last 35.

I really enjoy ‘human condition’ stories, where the plot is about a character facing a difficulty.  Therefore all these sections worked for me.

However, the other side of the story wasn’t really to my taste. The sense of foreboding was ok but the extremity of the outcome and the last 35 pages was much less enjoyable – although oddly, much quicker to read!

I think in part my reaction to it is about style. Atwood writes in a way that perfectly suits personal reflection. She has a knack for revealing how an individual views their world and how they respond to stimuli. When that gives way to looking at what is happening to a character (rather than how the character is perceiving a situation) it is less powerful.

Add to that the fact that the end feels very rushed in comparison with the rest of the story, and I think these explain why this book is not my favourite Atwood.

I read this for fun but it has made me reflect on a writing truth: as writers, we need to know what type of storytelling works best with our voice. You can stray from the path, of course, but you need to know your way back.

Playing to our strengths is the best way to get our writing noticed.

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

 

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There’s not a lot more to say since Thursday’s post, really.  The advert for the open mic night (I have gone for the more common spelling now!) has been submitted to the venue and the local newsletter. I will be posting it on facebook and locally in the village too but probably a little closer to the time so people don’t forget about it!  Writing is as it was, with a side order of dark nights and horse races to add to the poetic pot.

I am still not reading enough, and have to focus on that tomorrow evening if I am going to give you the promised post on Tuesday.

There’s not always a lot to say during the writing process but maybe next time I can give you a rundown of the poems I intend to share on the evening.  I will almost certainly share my village walking one, as people will recognise the scene, but beyond that I really am open to persuasion on anything.

Between now and then I have a family wedding so I am sure I will get a few upbeat ideas there too.  If I can get a mix of nature, political, fun, supernatural and – possibly – funny, I’ll have covered all my current interests and all poetic bases.

That’s the plan, for now.  Let’s see where the month takes me!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I haven’t finished the book yet.  I am taking a really long time over it and I don’t really know why.  It’s a good read, and when I start reading I can lose myself in it, but I don’t automatically reach for it.

I think after this one I will have a little reading break!

I promise, though, that I will give you a review next week!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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I utterly failed to write a post on Tuesday, sorry.  I am enjoying my book but have been writing and seeking out writing inspiration more than reading in the last couple of weeks so the book is a little neglected.  It has been left behind, which is the first part of this week’s title!

So what is the right, I hear you ask (humour me here!)?

It’s writing.  Writing is going right.

This week, as a bit of an experiment, I wrote song lyrics.  I was pleased how well they turned out, because I wasn’t expecting much!

I helped one of my writing buddies when they were stuck and couldn’t get their idea to form the verses they wanted.

I got the ad for the open mike night sorted out.

I had a really great writing session today.

I can feel the positivity in me.  That is definitely something going right.

It’s made a difference to have a new writing zone, even if I sometimes run the risk of being sidetracked…

So yes, I am a little slow at reading at the moment, but it’s good to have positive writing outcomes. It’s not a bad compromise, really!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I didn’t know what to read next, when I was choosing my new book.  I have piles upon piles waiting for me, including some I have borrowed and need to return.  But it’s too hot to think too much, so I finally decided on another Margaret Atwood.  It’s not a dystopian future so that’s a change, at least!

What I wanted was a holiday read: a book I knew I would enjoy reading, that I could read fairly quickly but was a bit more complex than an airport book, if you know what I mean.  This is a pick for the reader me, more than the writer me.

I will let you know how it’s worked when I finish!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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