Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yay! Books are Cool!

Not terribly original, but definitely heartfelt. (See how I got not one, but TWO adverbs in one lil' ol' fragment? Yep, that takes skill, people.) Books are, in fact, very cool.

I finished two really decent reads recently - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon followed by I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Both are YA books - since my current WIP is a YA I figured I should check out a few in the genre - and both restored my faith in the power of the well-written novel. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary. Of the two, The Curious Incident was my favorite - no surprise as Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is my all-time favorite book & the two stories have a fair bit in common.

In spite of the wahoo of discovering kick-ass writing by people I'd never read before, finishing the novels left me with a problem. Yep, I was out of reading material. Okay, technically I still have a few books floating around that I haven't finished, but I just didn't want to read any of them. Most are of the too good to give up on entirely, not good enough to keep me racing to the end variety.

Neil Gaiman's Stardust to the rescue. Good grief can he tell a good story. I'm not a huge fantasy reader, but I love his writing. Around the half-way mark I started to worry, though. What the hell am I going to do when I've finished this one? Well, it must be my lucky day, 'cause the books I won for the Cozy Noir thingie came today. Yep, 2 books by Duane Swier... ah shit, I have to look it up. Okay, it's Duane Swierczynski. I just wanted to read the first paragraph, and ended up ten pages in on The Wheelman before I knew it. I didn't even open up The Blonde, 'cause I have the terrible feeling it'll be the same deal and I REALLY can't manage 3 books at a go.

So yes, books are cool and I'm a happy camper. I know some people can't read while they're writing, but I can't stand NOT to have something completely different to immerse myself in when I'm working. Thank god (and writers!) for good books. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

There are time when I prefer to read instead of writing.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm with you Steve!

At 11:11 AM, Blogger dink said...

I have to read when I'm writing.

It's terrific when you find books to LOVE like you did. The best.

I didn't realize you were writing a YA -- you might want to stop by Linda Sue Park's blog--she's a newbery award winning children's author with a lot of good (helpful) stuff to say about all kinds of writing (particularly children's).

At 11:28 AM, Blogger angie said...

Thanks for the link - I'll definitely check it out. The novel I'm working on is on the gritty, edgy side of YA, but is YA nonetheless. Not evident from the little bit I posted here, but the main character is a 14 y.o. girl.

Glad I'm not the only one who finds reading a must when writing. I understand why some won't read in the same genre they are working in (that osmosis thing can slip favorite bits into your own work), but I don't get the don't-read-at-all-while-working thing.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

I like to study how other writers handle tough writing situations.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger coyoteradiotheater said...

I like to think Lala has never had a tough writing situations. When I was writing "War of the Squirrels" and got stuck I'd just think "WWLD?" and the answer would come to me in a flash of fine potpourri-scented inspiration.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Christian said...

I forgot to tell you how much I dug "Curious Incident of the Dog . . ." Great stuff. I'm reading some old 50's/60's short pulp fiction. I don't know if it's influencing my work, but I do find myself referring to women as "dames" a lot more than usual.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Brett Battles said...

I loved (LOVED) THE BLONDE...just finished it last week. Rockin'!

At 2:54 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

What WOULD Lala do?

She'd have finished this rewrite months ago. I know that much.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Trace said...

I want to read all those books.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger M.E Ellis said...

I spend the majority of my work day reading other people's work. I'm spending less time writing my own.

Oh dear.

Still, it helps me grow as a writer when I do eventually write.


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