I’m one of those wierdos that likes to read a lot of books at once. I like it when a whole bunch of different images collide in my head, and I think that’s part of the way I create new ideas.
So, for the current reading list: Other than my own novel which I’m reading to edit, I am also digging in deep to the trenches of World War 1 with “All Quiet on the Western Front”. This book is awesome — starts out a little weak, but about 80 pages in and BOOM, it becomes astounding.
Also in the in-progress pile are:
– Jaye Wells’ “Green Eyed Demon”, her third foray into Sabina Kane land — action packed and emotionally charged as usual, this time taking over New Orleans.
– Katy Stauber’s “Revolution World” — a novel of bio-punk engineering, video games, and revolution set in the near-term-post-apocalyptic future. Another fun one.
– The New Yorker’s short story collection “20 under 40” — so far I’ve liked 3 out of the 4 stories I’ve read, and I’ve LOVED one of them (“An Honest Exit”, which I mentioned yesterday). Strong writing in all the stories, sure, but there’s a formula to them in a way:
Some kind of emotional conflict/trauma/journey is center stage, brought up to the point of resolution, but instead of resolution there is just a kind of afterward — a lens of sorts, sometimes one paragraph, sometimes three, that tries to bring some kind of transcendence to the piece despite the lack of resolution. Additionally, emotion is usually held at a distance as if with tongs, much like a dead butterfly being examined under a magnifying glass. I mean, it’s pretty (usually), but it’s predictable in a way. Just as hog-tied — if not more — as a sestina or the simplest plot.
This formula only applies to the 4/20 I have read. I’ll see if the same formula holds true for all 20.