What I'm reading

Hello, and happy Monday. First off, I want to thank everyone for their comments to my last two posts. I intend to go through them very carefully. But they really helped...man, did I take a dive last week.

So, enough sniveling. Today, I'm happy to report, that I made progress this weekend Gearing up for Serious Writing. I moved my home computer and desk to the front living room windows and bought a soft, fuzzy carpet to rest my feet on when the winter chills come. I need to buy a new computer -- no way out of it. My original iMac, at the wee age of six years, is considered a dinosaur already.

And I found a great book to help me with Page Fright: The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. If you are like me (and just about any other writer) and would rather eat glass than sit in front of a blank page and type or submit work, this book is for you! It's rather comforting to know that writers like Margaret Atwood and E.B. White have battled anxiety. He even talked about how Herman Melville's name was misspelled (Meville) in the first few editions of his book! Ha, it happens even to the Great Ones!

Other books I'm reading:

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss: You know how when you start a novel and you get that special tingle of anticipation, realizing that you are in store for a really wonderful read? Well, that's how I feel about this book. I am about 30 pages into this and loving it. I don't think I've felt this kind of pull of from a novel since I read Coetzee's Disgrace. The prose is fresh, and I wish I had a copy in front of me to quote some examples for you. However, I will do a future post on this one. This was the Man Booker Prize winner for 2006. If you don't have a copy, run out and get one.

Antonia White, Frost in May: Finished this, actually. Easy read, and I'm going to start the second book in this series of four. This book deals with a little girl's life in a convent school at turn-of-the-century in England. You can imagine what the nuns back then put children through. Everything was a sin, even not finishing your daily cabbage. My, times have changed.

Lawrence Rees, Auschwitz: Not an easy read. This book presents a detailed examination on how Auschwitz came to be. What made this book different from other ones dealing with this topic is how the author presents an argument at how the Nazis created the problem of dealing with its Jewish population, and their solutions (take their homes, put them in ghettos, etc.) created even more problems. These self-created problems escalated and turned into full-blown genocide. In other words, the Holocaust did not start as an ideological conviction; rather, it became a "practical" solution to a political problem. Chilling.

Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise. I'm about halfway through this, and I enjoy the rather lyrical prose and find the subject -- foreign occupation of France during WW2 and how it affected the French citizens -- interesting and one I have not yet read about in other novels. From what I've read so far, I'd recommend it. I'm hoping to read the other half sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Off I go for now. Happy reading, everyone.


Brandon said...

I'm glad things are going better for you.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm glad the writing preparations are going well!