Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wrapped Up in Books

I swear I have been reading. But I have also been writing and will, as of this weekend, have a full and completed manuscript. It has evolved from random scraps of dialogue and character sketches into a full-blown story. And I'm super excited. It will need a lot of tweaking and editing, some filling in of various gaps, but this is all stuff I can work on as I go along with my critique group. A book. A real book. That I wrote! And even if it never sees the light of day, I am still pretty proud of myself. (Not to say that I don't want it to see the light of day. I most definitely do. But I'll try to remain realistic.)

In the meantime, I have been occupying myself with bits and pieces of multiple books. Like Bram Stoker's Dracula. Reading along with the "Infinite Summer" crew again, though I'll admit I'm a good bit behind. At this point I feel that I want to shake Jonathan Harker. When one finds himself imprisoned in a dark and scary castle, one doesn't think "Oh...how strange." One freaks out and tries to escape. I'm just saying. Though I have to say I laughed out loud when Count Dracula smashed the last mirror after grabbing Jonathan by the throat and Jonathan's reaction was, "Now how will I shave?"

Also in the "on-line book club" category, I started Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. I'm much further behind there than in Dracula, but it's not for lack of interest. What I've read so far has been fascinating and it reads like a dream. I can't say I've caught on to a single strand of plot thus far (if there even is one), but the words themselves are enjoyable. That being said, it's a difficult book to pick up for just a few pages each night. I will get through it though.

Third on the list I have The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I read one single glowing review of this book and immediately purchased it. Sometimes I'm spontaneous like that. I can't say I would have picked it up were I just looking on my own. It's about a magic school and it incorporates elements of all of your favorite fantasy novels but it's not for kids. I don't think I'll put it down and claim it to be one of the best books I've read, but I'm definitely enjoying it more than I thought I would and as it's easy to read and doesn't take much thought, I find that it's getting a bit more of my attention than the others.

Finally, since my grandparents are moving from their house into a condo, my grandfather is at a point of having to get rid of all of those books he's been hoarding. Having visited him this past weekend I found myself the lucky recipient of two boxes full of books on historical events and theology (from his years as a Minister). I dove into Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. I'm not much past the biography section, but I am fascinated by this man and his life. He stood up for what he believed despite persecution and imprisonment. His words are simple but meaningful; not clouded in philosophy the way G.K. Chesterton books are (though I love, love, love Chesterton). I'm looking forward to being inspired.

More thoughtful reviews as I finish. I feel as though I've been reading nothing these days.

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