Well this year is absolutely flying by! I hope you are enjoying your summer, and with it your summer reading list! I’m so proud of myself, reading as many books as I did this month! (Yes, I am totally patting myself on the back right now.) I cheated because two of them I didn’t actually “read” as I had the audiobooks, but I am counting them. I don’t know if anyone else is weird about that. Technically I know the story, but I didn’t read it. I feel like a fraud. Sigh. Oh well.
I can’t believe it’s already the end of May! This month flew by! I am so excited to share the books I read this month!
The first book I completed was Red Dwarf by Grant Naylor. This book was bizarre right out of the gate. I was uncertain about it for the first few pages and to be honest, if one of my best friends hadn’t recommended it, I may have put it down. But I kept reading and wow! It was without a doubt one of the strangest, yet most intriguing books I have ever read! The space travel, time travel, sound effects typed right into the story like dialogue would be, and off the wall characters are all things that have you shaking your head but in an edge of your seat, can’t wait to find out what happens next sort of way.
So I pondered how exactly I wanted to do this and I think all I’m going to say to start off is that I almost always go into reading my books blind. I don’t read reviews or synopses on them, or even read the back of the book. I quite literally judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge me, I like surprises.
Goals, by definition are the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Historically in my life, I’ve shied away from goals. I haven’t really worked out all of the whys to that yet, but I think part of it is that Atychiphobia thing.
Usually, I don’t set goals because I tend to do something to throw a monkey wrench in my own ideas. I aim for something, and then, when something happens to distract me from that (I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old…regular distractions are inevitable for me), I freak out and pretend I never had a goal to begin with. Rather than make more of an effort towards my ambitions, I shrink back and ultimately quit.
We all get them right? When you read that amazing book or finally finish that series that speaks to you in such a powerful way that sometimes you can’t even find words to talk about it. You must finish it, but when it’s over you feel empty inside. You try to pick up another book but its characters don’t speak to you yet, and you put it down again. Then, daydreaming about the just finished, wonderful book, you realize that you may never find this hauntingly beautiful feeling ever again. You panic and pick up a book and devour it as fast as you can. When that book is over you discover, with a sigh of relief, that you actually can enjoy other books again. But the in the in-between time is the killer. Or at least it used to be for me. I find though, that if I really put my mind to it, a lot of my inspiration in life comes in that limbo period. I get something different, a tidbit of wisdom from every book. Sometimes it’s simple and other times it’s more complex.
For example, when I read Inkheart, one of my takeaways was that I needed to read more classics. Her quotes at the start of every chapter made me excited when I recognized it, and desirous to read the book if I hadn’t. I also learned that reading aloud can be dangerous. Haha just kidding. It’s utterly magical.
When I re-read any Harry Potter book, it makes me excited to share adventure and the passion to learn and read with my kids when they get a little older! Also that I want a wand. Badly.
So my latest read is speaking to me about writing. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is an amazing book!
It’s quite easily the best book I’ve read in a very long time. Erin's use of third person present tense while writing is spellbinding. Yes, I know it’s used so frequently of late that it has become a little cliché but it is actually difficult to write a story that is set in a time period in the past, and make you feel like it is still happening all around you, therefore making you extremely invested in what is coming in the next sentence, paragraph, and page.
No, my takeaway from this magical book is not that I am going to follow the group mentality and start writing in the same way. (Not that doing this is a bad thing, if it works for you and what you’re writing then you go for it!) Not my style. (And that’s okay too.) My thoughts today come from the end of the book when a couple of the characters are having a conversation on the importance of storytelling.
All authors are storytellers and we want our story to have impact upon our readers. We want others to love our book so much that they quite literally have a literary hangover when the last page is turned. Definitely difficult to do, which is why not every book out there is a national bestseller. Books that do accomplish this status often leave us with a feeling that there must be more to life than the mundane and make us wish we could be a part of a grand adventure. Which is why we escape into books, right?
How am I going to evoke such emotion in others, and make them want to lose themselves in the pages of my novel if I don’t keep working? My ideas are worth sharing, because they speak to me in a way that these books do, I just have to figure out a way to make them speak to you too!
Even if all of us get something different out of it, if we’re all affected in some way, then Mission: Accomplished! So great how we can learn life lessons from books! Even if we never run away to join the circus to learn ours! Although you should definitely run away to The Night Circus for a couple of days! You won’t regret it!
So you know when someone starts explaining a story to you and then before you can stop them, you realize that they’ve given you all the high points and ruined the story for you? Yeah, me too. I’ve also done it to others. (Gasp!) Granted, it’s been a while since I have. I actually stopped long ago trying to explain books to people because I’m such a detail person that I wind up ruining it for them. And I HATE when someone does that to me. Which is why I will NOT be doing traditional book reviews on my blog. You’ll find that I’m actually not very traditional about a lot of things around here. I have my own way of doing things and I like it like that. (Aren’t recipes made to be tampered with?) Wait, what was I saying? Oh, right! Book reviews.
My book reviews are going to contain ideas and feelings that the book evokes from me, rather than a traditional synopsis and rating. (Mostly because I hate reading them myself, so why would I write them? Snore!) Just enough for you to see if you think you might like to read it and see what it brings out for you, but not enough to totally ruin the book or put you to sleep.
Books attempt to take us on an adventure in our minds. We’re able to check out of reality and experience new and exciting things. The best authors though, are able to take their book, their suspended reality and implant little ideas into our brain that we can’t quite shake even after the pages are closed. The people that can make those ideas unique for each person that way everyone looks at the book just a little bit differently are the bestest authors. (Yes that’s a word. No, don’t go look it up. Fine. It’s made up! Are you happy?)
My goal in these “Bookish Adventures” I will be sharing with you, is to divulge what I got out of these books. To encourage you to pay just a little bit more attention when you’re reading and see what the book gives to you. To get you just excited enough about the books I’ve read that you want to read them too. And to inspire conversation about these literary gems and the goodies they share with us, because every book has an idea (or two!) to share!