Book Therapy

You’ve probably noticed that I’m not writing much these days. My productivity on the blog usually mirrors my fiction writing–the more you see here, the more I’m putting on my own private pages. For the past couple of months, instead of writing, I’ve been reading non-stop. Hopefully, this will recharge my literary engine and help me remember what I am trying to achieve when writing my own novels. Here’s a random sampling of the books I remember reading and what stands out in my mind as having thrilled or annoyed me:

Thrilled with …

  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler–this book won the Pulitzer Prize and is so simple and breathtaking it made me cry a few times.  Most of the 8044 reviews on Goodreads seem to have liked it as well.  But could you imagine this book getting published these days?  “What’s your book about?” “It’s a book about a husband and wife on a driving trip to a funeral and back.” “That’ll never sell. What else have you got?” This book reminds me that brilliant fiction can be small in scope.
  • The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler–I’d picked this up as a best bet from the library (7 days to hold and enjoy). I read it in a day and then thought about it for the rest of the week; so simple and yet so good. Nothing fancy, but again, the characters drawn in such detail that you have to read this book to the end in one sitting. Then, I had to get another of her books to see why, why does it work? Anne Tyler’s books are nothing and everything at the same time.
  • Peter Pan by JM Barrie–the original is inventive and whimsical in ways that I had not expected having read the picture book & Disney versions; this is a brilliant book, which incidentally also has experimental diversions and unexpected tangents that add charm to the narrative.
  • Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Szuszi Gartner–weird and wonderful; I’m only part way through the first story and feeling sad that this book will end, and rationing pages already. Here’s a review that seems bang on for what I’ve read so far.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggsthis article by Mark Medley piqued my interest and the book delivered what I had expected; strange and delightful (the stalled writer in me wonders whether there’s a theme here; my early drafts of The 29th Day had a quirky charm that I gradually edited out …)

Annoyed with …

Author: Evadne

Welcome to where I write about writers & how they write, literary events in Toronto, and my own fiction writing for adults and children. My first novel, The 29th Day, is about a woman challenged by her son's extraordinary knowledge - the working cover is below, and it will be finalized in December based on reader feedback expected at the end of November. I have written 12,000 words of my second novel, Viral Hatred, about a society reinventing itself in the aftermath of a virus that strikes at the heart of empathy. The views expressed on this blog do not represent the views of the Ontario Human Rights Commission or the government of Ontario. Where the materials posted are author interviews or presentation notes, these will reflect solely the views of the speaker, unless otherwise noted.

1 thought on “Book Therapy”

  1. There you are Evadne! I was wondering if you were still writing.
    I liked The Marriage Plot, but I definitely didn’t love it. It’s pretty tough to live up to Middlesex, which blew my mind at the time.
    I hope your own writing is going well!

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