Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer reading

Between the local library and the small but excellent indie bookstore at the bottom of the mountain, I've been doing more reading up here than I've done in a long time.  (This is not necessarily a good thing, considering there's some other stuff I need to be doing, but really, when is reading great books bad?)

This summer has so far produced a wealth of interesting-seeming books that have now been bumped to the top of my list.  Cases in point: The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, The Passage by Justin Cronin, The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum, and The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (both Brady Udall and Jenna Blum have visited or will soon visit that great local bookstore at the bottom of the mountain that I was talking about).  I'm also intrigued by Brady Udall's older book, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.

But this week I'm reading Day for Night by Frederick Reiken, who happens to have been one of my college profs.  Before I got to college, and with the goal in mind of taking a course from him, I read his earlier two books--The Odd Sea and The Lost Legends of New Jersey--just because I was so excited to be taking class from a real live published author I could find at Barnes & Noble!  Both of his books were quite good, but this one that I'm reading this week is leaps and bounds beyond quite good.  It's amazing to see how much he's changed and grown, even within the confines of his own specific set of excellent skills.

I don't want to give too much away about the book--it's one of those that it's best to go into it sort of blind--but I will say that it's got me rethinking the way that I write in the sense that it's telling a story in a truly daring and different way.  When I sit down to write, I tend to think very linearly and very straightforwardly in terms of narrative, description, character development, and all those other writerly (and annoying) buzzwords.  Reiken's book knocks all that on its head to great effect, and does so without being even remotely showy or bizarre.

I've updated my to-read list (jeez, now it's just gotten out of hand) on the right, so take a peek and maybe we can all read something great together.

Now, a transcendent mountain photo.

I decided to just recycle a rainbow photo, since books are a great way to get to the end of the rainbow, no wishes or leprechauns necessary. 

Speaking of...


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