Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Day Off

I've been having a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders for the past few days, I think it's the result of all the time I've been spending on the computer. I wrote the draft for this post the good old-fashioned way using pen and paper, just to give myself a break from the infernal machine.

I do like to write with a pen though, particularly when I'm writing fiction, (not that this is). There's something about the physical action of the pen gliding across the page that seems to free up my mind.

Unfortunately, just lately, I've had to concentrate on getting my non-fiction book written, and as all my research stuff is on the computer, I have no choice but to use it. But, this afternoon, I'm giving myself a break.

When I've written this, I'm going to have some lunch, and by the time I've eaten our porch should be in the shade, so I plan to sit out there and have a read. Reading is something I've been neglecting of late. The book I'm going to start is James Michener's Alaska. I've never read anything of his before, but Mick highly recommended it.

It's also a lovely day for sitting outdoors. One of those rare days here in NE Oklahoma, where the temperature is not too hot, 83F, with blessedly low humidity, for once. Unlike Saturday, when we had more severe storms and torrential rain for most of the day.

Anyway, back to books. This morning on Britgal in the USA's blog, Sarah posted a list of 100 books decreed by Entertainment Weekly to be modern day classics. There were a few books on the list that, in my opinion, didn't deserve to be. Even though I had read and enjoyed them, I wouldn't have thought them "classic" material. There were also many I couldn't comment about, not having read them.

One book that I thought ought to have made the list but didn't, is Vikram Seth's, A Suitable Boy. This is a huge tome of a novel, 1474 pages in paperback, and this is taken from the blurb on the back:

"Set in the early 1950's, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis. A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsive tale of of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux. It is the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence."

It's an excellent book, I've read it twice, and one that thoroughly deserves to be called a modern classic. There are many others more deserving than, Harry Potter, Bridget Jones, Into Thin Air, and the Da Vinci Code, even though I don't dispute that the aforementioned are good reads.

Are there any books you would like to see added to the list?

Anyway, time to stop writing and have a read.

Thought for the week:

"The drudgery of being a professional writer comes in trying to make good days out of bad days, and in squeezing out the words when they won't just flow." ~ Benjamin Cavell


pamokc said...

Janet, the book you describe sounds very good. I read one set about the same time in India, can't remember the name exactly, but might be called The God of Small Things. Can't remember who by. It is one that really stays with you.

I agree that some of the books on the list are questionable. I guess because they had such an effect on pop culture -- Bridget Jones and Harry Potter. Maybe even The DaVinci Code.

But Lonesome Dove is just a fabulous classic for me. However, I obviously am not caught up on my reading because some of those I had never heard of either!

And, just to comment on your ink pen ... I know that feeling of writing with a really good pen ... something about the way the ink flows lets your mind flow and lets your words flow. Thanks for sharing that thought.

Janet said...

Hi Pam, I've read The God of Small Things, too, and agree that it's a very powerful and moving story, and another one that deserves classic status. The author is Arundhati Roy.

I've never read Lonesome Dove, I will have to give it a try on your recommendation.

One of the books that did make the list, and rightly so, in my opinion, was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. If you haven't read this, I highly recommend it.

pamokc said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I have read, or tried to read, something else by Kingsolver, but didn't make it through. I'm not remembering now what it was, but I was a bit afraid to try her again. And yes, you are right about the author of God of Small THings. I remember it now. I still think somethings that just for a pair of reading glasses, all those people's lives would be different. Powerful book.