It’s no surprise, but I find it difficult to get anything done in the summer. The vast expanse of seemingly free time ahead of me lulls me into inaction — that is, the kind of quiet action that many see as a waste of time — that is, reading.
So, although I’m falling behind with my work and Camp NaNo projects (more on these in a separate post), I’m way ahead on my reading.
Remember that 2015 Reading Challenge — a book a week, meeting various criteria? Well, it’s week 27, and I’ve read 32 books, with number 33 about to hit the “done” list. Here are some of the highlights:
Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet satisfies 2 *categories*. The first novel in this 2000-page volume, The Jewel in the Crown involves *a love triangle*, and the final three ought to do for a *trilogy*. You need strength to commit to a story that starts small — that love triangle in 1942 British India — then spirals out to cover the history of the Raj, race, class, World War II in eastern Asia, and the appalling violence in 1947 as British India partitioned into India and Pakistan. You also need patience, as Scott’s Rashomon-like story retells, from different points of view, basic plotlines: a rape, a vendetta, a suicide. The retelling rarely adds insight. What it does add, however, is weight to each act of violence, making each stand for the larger violence resulting from centuries of British rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Richard Hughes’ A High Wind in Jamaica, by *an author I’ve never read before*. Put this along side Lord of the Flies, and you’ll never think of “innocent” children again.
Richard Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley, which *became a movie* in 1941. Lovely, sad, and, since I’ve seen the film, impossible to read without hearing the actors’ voices.
Pioneer Girl, by *favorite author* Laura Ingalls Wilder, is the first version of the Little House books. She and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, tried repeatedly to publish it, but only now has it come out, with annotations, photographs, and letters to supplement Wilder’s text. I had to wait a while for my copy to arrive — the publisher didn’t expect the demand to be so high.
Enough with the time-wasting. I hope to write a few words today on my WIP, so I better get going.
I’m falling behind too, but on my reading challenge rather than anything else: twenty-five categories completed and it’s gone 27 weeks now! Still, I’m juggling three other books at the moment — though not all of them conveniently fit a category — and before the end of the month I should be back up to quota, even if I don’t keep pace with the reviews. So congratulations to you for having got ahead of yourself, and good luck with the writing!
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Thanks, Chris. I have to admit that I force whatever I read into the available categories. For instance, “book at the bottom of my to-read list” applies to any book I never even thought of reading, so Clarence Day’s 400+ page collection fits there — I found it online after watching *Life with Father* (William Powell and Irene Dunne) for perhaps the 10th time.
Finding a book whose author’s initials are the same as mine will be a challenge, but I can use B, E, G or L as the first initial, so that may help.
The writing is at a point where I need to do some serious plotting, but find myself rearranging books on my shelves or scrubbing bathroom tiles instead. “Thinking about it”, I’m sorry to say, is not the same as writing. So, 10 pages today or bust!
I’ve just completed an assignment right up to deadline, a 3000-word story breakdown, a prepatory screenplay treatment of an Ursula Le Guin short story, so I know all about procrastination!
Lucky you for your choices of same initials author, I’ve only come up with Charles Lamb so far. Suppose I could go for Lewis Carroll — same initials but in reverse order — but I’ll try to keep to the spirit of the challenge!
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Reverse order! Thanks for the idea. RL — RL Stevenson? I have a book about him that I’ve been wanting to read. Still within the spirit of the challenge?
They’re all pegs on which to hang a metaphorical hat, aren’t they? I’d go for it … 🙂
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With your encouragement, I will.
BTW, I meant to comment on your screenplay treatment. First of all, wow! To take on LeGuin requires some chutzpah and skill. Second, if you ever feel like sharing, I’d love to read it.