15 March 2009

Currently reading

1. Poetrix submissions
2. Ada Cambridge entries (biographical writing) for shortlisting judging with my Novel 2 class
3. Student first chapters and synopses
4. Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk) -- within a few pages of the end
5. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) -- about 1/3 way in and stalled because I can't find the book
6. Love in the time of cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) -- about 1/4 way in and stalled because I can't find the book
7. The secret river (Kate Grenville) -- read this before, but am teaching it so am rereading it with my class. About 1/4 way through, currently.
8. The enchanted wood (Enid Blyton) -- it was around. I couldn't resist -- can never resist a book with Dick and Fanny as the main characters. (And of course that's far funnier in Australia than it is in the US.)
9. Emotional structure: creating the story beneath the plot: a guide for screenwriters (Peter Dunne). All right, I'm not a screenwriter and have no aspirations to be one -- I like my narrative too much -- but there are a lot of great books on how to write screenplays that have heaps of useful info for novel writers too.

And you have to love a book that has this on its opening page: ". . . you can only be a writer on the days you write. On the other days, the days you decide not to write, you will be something else. However, there is a caveat. On the days you decide to be a writer and you write, even if it's for only an hour, you get to be a writer for the other twenty-three hours, too. Pretty good, huh?"

I love it. Love the voice. Love what he's saying. I'm there. In for the long haul. Although, rather than read from beginning to end, I'll probably dip in and out, which I do with all my writing books. I'm constantly trawling through them. (And having done my tax the other day, I realised I'd spent over $700 on writing books in the last financial year. Eek! Husband is not happy. Admittedly, I did teach a new subject so was busy acquiring both textbooks and also compilations (of poetry) to draw on for my reader, especially given that Fair Trading means I'm quite restricted in how much I can use.)

What I'm looking forward to reading next:

World without end (Ken Follett). I bought myself this for my husband to give me for Christmas. I loved Pillars of the earth: so rich, so gripping, that I had to have the sequel.

The series beginning with Kushiel's dart (Jacqueline Carey), which comes to me highly recommended as fantasy that's completely different. I have perused it -- looks like it's going to be a -- er -- let's say racy read!

The Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb). Truth be told, I've dipped into this once before -- after I'd read the follow-up series The Liveship Traders, which I absolutely loved. I found I just didn't want to slip into first person -- and where were Althea and Brashen? -- but it was a cursory look that no doubt didn't do the series justice.

The time traveler's wife (Audrey Niffenegger), which was highly recommended by a student of mine. The concept sounds intriguing, and I've just been watching the rather funny "Lost in Austen" about a modern day girl who crosses through a time and I guess dimension (to do with the real and fictional worlds) portal into Pride and prejudice, so I'm ready for something in this vein.

I've always felt like I haven't read enough of the classics, but I've been focussing on addressing this a little over the last few years to the detriment of my genre reading. Now it's time to get back to some of the stuff that I love to read. (Though I've loved many of the classics too.)

1 comment:

Ellen said...

LOVE that Peter Dunne quote. Will I get sued if I post it on my blog (properly credited)?

And do enjoy Kushiel's Dart, won't you! Oh, if only I hadn't read them yet and they were still in store for me . . .