It wasn’t a great month for reading, but I added a few books to the list!
The Power of Blackness by Jack Williamson
The only addition to the fiction list this month was a book by Jack Williamson that my husband picked up for me at the Jack Williamson Lectureship at ENMU in March. This was only the second book by Williamson that I have read — other than his autobiography. It was a somewhat simple story but a good one. Williamson makes a lot of excellent points about human nature in the telling of the story.
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times
Both non-fiction books this month dealt with writing. This one was a series of essays by famous authors previously published in the New York Times. I have to admit that I had never heard of some of them. The essays were interesting, if not always informative. I was expecting more advice that the essays contained, but that was actually better.
The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.
This was a book of advice on writing. Most of the ideas I liked. I have to admit to now having put many of them to use yet. I started reading the book and then applying what he said to the novel my son and I are writing. I gave up on that, though, because I never seemed to get around to doing that last part. SO I decided just to finish the book. I can go back to it when my head is in the right place to write again. I enjoyed the book and think that it contains a lot of good ideas. I’ll let you know how useful it really is when I actually try to implement more of his ideas. One that i particularly liked was analyzing the text for readability. He says to do it scene by scene so you can see if there is some variety, if some go faster or slower than others. I think that is the first idea I will look at next.
Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
The only classic I read this month was one I have to admit I knew nothing about except that English majors at Eastern would talk about it. I was a little reluctant because I had read Moby Dick a couple years ago and didn’t think I could make it through another book by Melville. This one, being a novella, was actually pretty enjoyable. I am sure there is all kinds of symbolism I missed, but I don’t really care. I read it to read it, not to analyze it to death!
I have already finished a classic in June, and I really hope to get more reading done than I did last month. trying to read classics and non-fiction definitely slows my reading down, but I don’t really care. I think I will probably read more “current” novels than anything else this year, but I am enjoying reading some books I know I never would have without giving myself this challenge.