Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book-Reading Ideas

Those who have been reading my blog for some time know that I love to read. I think a lot of bloggers are readers. I mean, most are would-be authors. Even if they only tell themselves in the darkness of their rooms. And people who want to write generally like reading as well. Some are narcissists and just want to put their "important thoughts" to paper, but most read.

I just finished reading a book, written in the 60s. It took a bit longer to read for a few reasons – (1) I was in the middle of three books and was spending my time divided between the books; (2) the book literally took my breath away as I was reading it – I think I was inhaling the pages (literally, not figuratively). I wish the books were made with better paper; (3) with great literature, I like to really have the words and phrases dance around in my head. I don't mind spending the time on a good book.

There are some great books I have not read. For instance, I want to read Ulysses (James Joyce). The book was written between 1918 and 1920 (it appeared in a periodical; too lazy to look up the name of it). The book is a modern-day Homer's Odyssey. I first was curious about the book after seeing it prominently displayed in Godspell. My favorite part of Godspell is one song. [Robin Lamont sings this song.] When I was younger, I wanted to be part of the 60s (before I really knew that drugs were involved in the 60s). Anyway, even though Ulysses was written so long ago, I envision the book as part of the 60s.

I also wanted to read All the King's Men (Robert Penn Warren). Again, I think of this book as read by people in the 1960s, but it was written in the 40s. Many think the main character was based on Huey P. Long, colorful governor of Louisiana, something the author always denied.

Every time I see a book in a movie, I wonder about the book if I have not read it. Not sure that is normal. Same thing in a bookstore. If I see an interesting cover, I want the book. I have lots of books that I have not read, because I think to myself, "I want to read this," and there is not enough time in the day to read all of the books I want to read.

Well, I really don't want to write today. I want to read.


Deb said...

In my opinion: the best authors are the ones who read. Just like playing guitar, I have to watch other people to grasp a style all my own, from watching other people's styles. We adapt to different styles, ideas and what type of subject we want to write about. Writers/authors usually read a few books for research, before attempting to write their own.

For me, it's a "must" to read the book before watching the movie. For me, I want to see if my visualization of what was described in the book matches the movie.

I'm more for the self-help nonfiction type of books, but my favorite fiction author would be Dean Koontz. Nonfiction has to be David Sedaris - I love comical true life stories.

I give you credit for reading the material you do. I can't read old books for some reason (and not because of the yellowy cracked paper) but just because I can't wrap my mind around something that has a different timeline or way back when... I'm limited, I know this.

Xmichra said...

I have read Ulysses, and for pleasure rather than school. I find that most people who have read it to obtain a mark in school hate the book. I can understand... disectiong to a point of over disection makes a novel a chore. Anyway, i really liked it. I thought it was all over the place at first... didn't seem to make much sense. But it comes together eventually. My favorite chapter (or episode) is Penelope. I had a friend in middle school who was named Penelope and couldn't be more like the Molly Bloom characer if she and she was Irish ;) so it reminds me of her (minus the child and marriage thing).

There are plenty of novels on the classic list that I would like to read though. I love the way the words are grouped and structured. people don't talk like that anymore, but you can tell from the way books in an era were written that there was a definate difference in english as we know it.

RLM said...

All the King's Men is definately on my list of great books. Robert Penn Warren wrote a great story, and the parallels to Huey Long are unmistakable. (In fact a couple of years ago my wife and I visited the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, and the bullet holes are still in the marble).
As far as movies go there are only a few movies as good as the book. And three of those were written by Stephen King. The best adaptations of books into movies (imho) are: The Godfather (I and II), The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me (a short story called "The Body") and The Green Mile.

Tim said...

Interesting post Leesa. I love to read and also have 2 or 3 books going at the same time. I made it point after I got older to go back and read the classics that I was forced to read when I was in school. (And since that was the late 60's and early 70's and drugs were involved, I didn't remember opening a few of them.) Lately I haven't found too many authors who can compete with the older ones. If I see one that looks interesting, I pick it up and try it.

Under the Influence said...

I'm currently in the middle of a good read - The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Check it out if you get the chance.

Leesa said...

Deb: I have heard good writers (S King and others) say that reading is the best thing for a writer to do.

Xmichra: I have read good literature in school and for fun, and I enjoy it both.

RLM: I enjoy the whole Long legacy in La.

Tim: There are current authers that are really good as well. Confederacy of Dunces - great book, published in the 80s, I think.

Under: Thanks for the recommendation.

Tim said...

I'll give it a try Leesa. Looks interesting and anything set around New Orleans is good. Thanks