I’ve been a little annoyed / concerned about my lack of writing over the past few months, but then I realized that I’ve been doing a lot of reading.
Since mid-December I started getting interested in downloadable audiobooks and then ebooks from my local public library.
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, Vincent Lam
The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre
The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
The Affair, Jack Reacher Series, Book 16, Lee Child
The Echo Maker, Richard Powers
Room, Emma Donogue
Failed to finish audiobook:
Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Annie Proulx
Divisadero, Michael Ondaatje
The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
Mostly Happy, Pam Bustin
Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
1Q84, Haruki Murakami
Failed to finish ebooks: (all non-fiction)
Incognito, David Eagleman
The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross
That’s a fair amount of material. Some observations:
- I don’t recommend Lee Childs in audiobook form. I like his Reacher books for quick, light entertainment but I can’t speed-read an audiobook. It seemed to take forever to get through the story.
- Almost a similar reaction to Dan Brown in audiobook form, but because the plot is so complicated it wasn’t quite as difficult. Still, Dan Brown continues to be the shining example of the extreme mixture of intricate plot with totally flat characters.
- Michael Ondaatje is quite ponderous, even when writing scenes in fast paced gambling worlds. I don’t think I need to read any more of his writing. The thickness of the style reminds me of Lawrence Durrell which I read long ago but Ondaatje doesn’t invite me into an interesting bohemian world like Durrell does.
- Richard Powers is also quite thick with his writing style but more approachable for me.
- I’m sure that the audiobook format changes my interaction with the writing, but it was definitely interesting listening to something unusual like Room.
- Ebooks are hard on my neck and shoulders. Because the Kobo and my cell phone are small, slippery and will autorotate the screen I had to hold them constantly and with my thumb in a position ready to turn the page. On the other hand it’s great to have something right there when I’m on the bus or waiting at the doctor’s office.
So twelve complete books in four months, plus some other reading and all the issues of The New Yorker published during that time. That’s a fair amount of reading and might account for the lack of writing. But the lack of writing is due to lack of inspiration and desire rather than lack of time. My hope is that I’m going through a phase of absorbing some writing, mostly good, before the writing focus comes back into play.
* Edit: Oh, I forgot The Hunger Games too, but that only took a day to read.