(I apologise if the formatting of this post is a little odd; I’ve been having handling problems with my WordPress today).
As Jae mentioned in her post yesterday, reading is just as important for every writer as writing is. I’m sure you know that. This can be any sort of creative reading. I think I have, over the last working years of exams, read more plots online than I have in print-book style, but I still count that as absorbing fiction and ideas and style.
When I was in Uganda, I even sneaked a random chapter of Gone Girl from my friend’s Kindle – to see the writing style and tone of a bestseller. Granted, I wasn’t comfortable with the protagonist’s raw use of language (come on: even the adults in my books stop at ‘bloody’ and ‘damn’!) and it put me off, but the plot was fascinating and the writing succinct.
I’ve also taken to asking people the first lines of the novels they’re reading.
Only when I really get down to reading do I realised how eclectic my tastes are. The same can be said by glancing at my bookshelf bookpile – especially when moving and packing away my items means I have to sort what to keep in my room and what to box up.
I had just finished sorting my 1920s/30s research pile when I noticed the collection of books in the piles beyond my papers.
Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Okay, I’ve only just started this one, though I got it quite a while ago. I love Hardy’s prose – I fell in love with Far From the Madding Crowd about two years ago – but I’ve not really had a spare minute to read Tess. Still looking forward to it, though.
Quenching my thirst for everything mysterious and Oxford-shaped is this little guide to Morse in Oxford (I’m going to say by Colin Dexter because he created the character and has all the credit). It tells about the various locations used in both the fiction and the filming of the TV shows, as well as providing an insight into Morse and Lewis’ adventures through the city itself. Plus, it came with a CD of classical and operatic music, so I couldn’t be more satisfied.
I’ve already read the book through a couple of times, and sometimes I use it as my point of reference, though Agnetha is not involved with the history or any part of the town as a University. In fact, as well as not even wanting to go to university herself, she’s only working in Oxford for a book and a half. Of Moscow Mysteries is, naturally, set in Moscow.
The complete illustrated works of Lewis Carroll. You may know that I adore Carroll’s intellect and creativity and count him as one of my favourite writers. He may delve into the fantastic, but he does so with ease and realistic tone. I’ve not yet got around to continuing with this book since I stopped reading it for my uni applications, but I had been reading Sylvie and Bruno 2 at the same time as reading through the epic poem The Hunting of the Snark.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. You may recall that I wrote a What’s Up, Wednesday post a while back featuring this as ‘what I’m reading’. Yes, I’m still reading it. It’s a large book, a omnibus of two! Besides, this is the one, out of the four, of which I have read the most. (As you can see, I’m over halfway.)
You may notice that there are no uber-modern books in the pile. From sight, I know the other books don’t fall into that category, either. The one under Herriot is a Psychology of Intelligence book; the one under that must be the Jung, and beyond, there reside various non-fics I require. And I can tell you that the two soft-hardbacks are both Christies.
No, there is no specific reason for this. I just prefer to read more classic books than the new best-selling. I may be due to use of modern language and slang, something which I myself am not keen on – as a person. Why-else does at least one character in the Time, Stopped trilogy speak without contractions? xD (Okay, I have a full answer to that rhetoric, but I enjoyed hanging the question for a moment.)
In a way, I do follow some pattern with my reading. These are books I enjoy sinking into on a daily basis.
(In case you were wondering/keeping track: yes, the names in the title are deliberately alphabetical, and the books mentioned are in deliberate order of pages read. I may have finished Morse in Oxford twice, but it’s small. If you look carefully at the picture, starting bottom-left and moving clockwise, you can read the authors in the post-title order. But that was pure coincidence 😉 )
So, that’s me filled with reading for this summer. What about you? Reading anything interesting – old or new?