“Uh, okay… Just a sec… Just, uh, wait… Huh? Right. One more minute…”
Although this is normally what we hear from our daughter, in this case it was me procrastinating. Specifically, I was reading the delicious book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and couldn’t quite put it down to get my daughter her dinner.
Only the very best books can do this to me. And even then, if there are delineated chapters I can usually find a breaking point. But this book has both the sort of writing that makes you want to see what happens next, and is written in the form of correspondence. Breaking the book into sections based on letters makes it nearly impossible for me to stop reading. Just one more short correspondence, I think. And then boom, I’ve read another ten pages and my daughter has returned, surprised that her macaroni and cheese from a box is taking this long (yes – sad to say that I do often make this for her).
Crafting a story that has this type of intense pull is not easy. Even a fantastic plot, if paired with less than deep characters and precise pacing, will allow my eyes to wander from the page. Then, like most readers, my attention is lost.
Some friends and I were discussing Fifty Shades of Grey yesterday (a fairly one sided conversation as only one of us, not me, had read it.) Still, though I have yet to find it in me to pick it up, I could at least engage with our discussion about the mechanics of the story. Specifically, the person who had read it said that the writing wasn’t even that good. And yet, she was drawn to keep reading and to finish the book, not just set it down.
In fact, I have already heard this about Fifty Shades. But while the writing might struggle, to have created characters compelling enough that the reader sticks with the story in spite of its flaws says a great deal, I think, about the author’s talent.
Don’t get me wrong… I still say the very best books are the ones that have it all. It matters not which genre each person prefers. Within every category are books that sparkle like moonlight on wavy water. Perhaps, if you are like me, you too will find such a book in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Now, sorry to keep it short, but I have a few more letters to read.
I’m still waiting to hear about your favorite or planned trips. Leave a comment and let me know what journeys have inspired you, and I’ll enter you into a drawing where one lucky January commenter will win a copy of any one of Daniel Davidson's Travel Free Guides. Check back at the end of the month to see if you’re my winner. Please note –while I love and appreciate getting Facebook posts and Twitter replies, the comment must be made on my blog, using the blog form – this way all who see the blog post can engage in a shared conversation. Thanks.
(BTW - For those of you who don’t yet know of Daniel Davidson, he’s a travel writer with great advice on saving money while traveling. Check his website for more info: http://www.freetravelideas.com/)
NOTE: Thanks for all of the fun comments during the month of December. I am super happy to announce that is the winner of the $10 donation to the non-political charity of their choice is Catherine Castle. Congratulations Catherine! Please leave a comment and let me know to which charity I can donate in your name.
“If I wrote the things he did I would not be living at the end of a ten mile lane in Maine.”
Over a 1,000 people gathered at Powell's last night to have Jeff Kinney sign his new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, HARD LUCK. Like everyone else, we were waiting for our turn to meet him. Fortunately, though, we’d found a spot to sit and finish homework near the book signing location.
It also happened we were right next to the Thriller section of the bookstore, and in particular, Stephen King. As the line snaked by us it was a perfect time to over hear lots of comments about this prolific author. While many of the comments had to do with how frightening his books are, for some reason most were about his home in Maine.
Here’s a different overhear on the topic:
“Some friends mentioned we had just passed by his house, so I made them go back so I could see it. And then, while we were driving by, he jogged right by us. They pointed out that it had been him, but I hadn’t seen his face. When I asked them to turn around again they said no way. He was hit while jogging, you know. And since they lived in the town they really didn’t think it was a good idea to drive back and forth in front of his house.”
Many comments were of a similar vein… near sightings of Mr. King, or of his house. But one overhear made me laugh out loud. A woman was talking on her cell phone while waiting in line. So I only heard her end of the conversation. But it went something like this:
“Where am i? Instead of explaining she was near the front, she looked around for a marker. “I think I’m in the Thriller section. I’m right next to Stephen King…. No, I’m almost there. But I’m going to have nightmares tonight. … No,” (laugh) “not about Stephen King. About this ridiculous line.”
I could relate. I suppose participating in the “Hard Luck Tour” meant experiencing some hard luck ourselves
Are you a Stephen King fan? Have you been to Maine and can you explain what would be so scary about living there? I love, love, love, to hear reader comments. And to prove it, I will give $10 to the non-political charity of one lucky November commenter. Leave a comment on any of my blogs and then check back at the end of the month to see if you won!
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