Thanks to my new job, I can now continue my quest to hoard books. I say hoarding because the thrill of purchasing tons of books will eventually consume my future house if I don’t prepare for it properly. At this point in my life I probably have about 50-60 books acquired, which is not that bad by standards for writers. However, the amount of books that I have read out of that number is not as impressive. I have at least a dozen books that I have not read yet, and that frustrates me. My typical routine is that I start one book, find another that I also want/need to read, and then slowly work on the list of currently reading until I’m done with the books.
Over the years, I’ve been able to work through my reading list relatively quickly. At the same time, there are so many books out there that I don’t know if I’ll ever get to them all. Couple that with a full-time job/school and you have a recipe for an overwhelmed writer. I know that one of the most important parts of writing is constantly reading to learn vital skills. Sometimes, the reading part gets in the way of the writing because books are just so addictive. Other times, books make me want to stop reading just so I can write.
This love of books and writing has given me a future full of things to do. If I ever claim to be bored it will only be because I have forgotten to bring a book with me or I’m doing an activity that doesn’t allow me to write. Anyway, I’ve decided to share with you my recent book purchase to share some hopefully good books and get some opinions on them.
1. Devices and Desires by P.D. James-It is a requirement for this practicum’s reading list, but it is so much more than that. My love of crime/murder mysteries is rooted deeply in my love of cliches. I foresee this book to be like greatly once I read it. Set in Norfolk, “Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, in Larsoken to settle an estate left him at the death of a relative, is drawn into the investigation of a serial killer, the Whistler” (Amazon). I am thrilled to get this book started, but I will have to wait because I am saving it for my last critical essay. I am hoping my knowledge of crime novels will help me to make this the best paper of the practicum.
2.The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman-I found this book after finishing my assignment with The Blackbird House. My re-connection with Hoffman instilled a desire to find more of her books, which led me to this one. A classic coming of age story following a young girl, who is destined to be the leader of the powerful Amazon warriors. Just the fact that it is about Amazon warriors was enough to make me buy it (getting it for $0.75 was even better). I am so excited for this book knowing the magical quality of Hoffman’s writing. I have always been obsessed with Greek mythology and like stories, so this will be right up my alley. It is only one of many Hoffman books I must now cross off my list.
3. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley-I was suggested to read this book by my mentor, and in a spur of the moment I purchased it as well. When she first suggested the book I was intrigued by the subject of Arthurian legends. They are an integral aspect of all fantasy writing, so I was dedicated to reading it with such a strong suggestion. Lo and behold, I had already read the prequel to this book called, The Forest House. I read the book during my high school library escapades where I picked the library clean of awesome books.
Yet, I never remembered the title. So, going back I searched key words I remember and found the book. Then, the pieces of the puzzle began connecting. It is even more special for me to read this book knowing its connection to the prequel, which I adored. Bradley’s spin on the Arthurian legends comes from the p.o.v. the book is written. She wrote the story from the perspective of the under appreciated women of the tales. Morgan Le Fay, Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, and Igraine all find their voice in this version of the classic fantasy. I await the arrival of the book to get started on this epic adventure!
4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman- This was another suggestion by one of my good friends from Carlow’s M.F.A. group, Colin O’Boyle, who definitely knows good fantasy/science fiction. This particular novel is focuses on Richard Mayhew, a young man who stumbles into the dark, mystical world of London Below. Without much more information than that I was hooked. I would have purchased all of his books, but I can only read so many at a time. So, hopefully this book will live up to the big name Gaiman has made for himself.
Overall, I believe my purchase has been a success. I managed to get the final book I needed for school and plenty of light reading in between. I also just finished Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, and I am ready to move on to the Shadow Series to complete all books in the Enderverse. It seems that I have plenty of inspiration coming my way to develop my short story.
Please comment your opinions, reviews, and suggestions for other books by these authors or genres. I love hearing what people think of books before I read them.