Books I’m Reading

2018-05-05 16.06.15


I forgot to list Thanks, Obama by David Litt because it’s a real paper book; I got it for Christmas.

Speaking of real paper, that’s some of mine there. Field Notes Khaki Graph, Cedar Pointe natural wood pencil. More about my love for analog in an upcoming post.

No Less Wit

There is not less wit nor less invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought.

– Pierre Bayle, philosopher and writer (1647-1706)

Right. Right. I have a few random thoughts on that, I think.

I believe it was Chaucer who said we plant new corn in old fields. An apt metaphor if I’ve ever heard one. And there’s a reason why reading is an imperative facet of writing. But what about other sources, such as music, movies, and even (egads!) TV? 

Gratefuldeadbear crop1A careful reading of the poetry I’ve written over the years will disrobe allusions to The Grateful Dead. And as I’ve been writing my novel, I’ve been thinking about To Kill A Mockingbird – the film version – at least a little. Sometimes I think about The Waltons TV show

Back in October I posted about making mood boards, and how visual imagery plays a part in guiding one’s writing efforts. (My mood board is here.)

As interested as I am in technology, as repulsed and drawn by turns as we are by the lurid lights and shadows of society and politics, I think nothing is more interesting than imagination. Without imagination, there is no invention, obviously no art.

Mission Santa Barbara Also known as  "Queen of the Missions for its graceful beauty."
In a sense, without imagination, there is no God. Because no matter how firmly we believe, and how well seated are doctrines and litanies in our minds, no sane believer can convince me he understands God. The Bible tells us we can’t. We can only try to comprehend Him through our symbolic imagination, and apprehend Him through a miniscule mysticism.

Mostly, we have to deal with life as it is Now – life on life’s term’s – or we wind up as crazy and wild as the Tucson shooter. But when the day is done, a creative person should feel at ease to hold her or his life up to the mirror of art at an angle, to see how the light might break differently then. And that’s a work of imagination. There’s no way to think about the future, otherwise.

What about you? How do non-print media inspire your creative life?

where the wild things may be, indeed

Publishers Weekly reports on a new project for Dave Eggers, whose book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, amazed the hell out of me, a few years back.

One of the more significant and highly anticipated literary collaborations of recent years isn’t even a book—it’s a movie. Where the Wild Things Are, based on Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book, is slated for major motion picture release in mid-2009. The collaborators on the screenplay are director Spike Jonze and author Dave Eggers, though the pair consulted with Sendak throughout the screenwriting process. And the film will carry a blockbuster of a tie-in—and it’s not the book the film is based on: it is a solo novel, written by Eggers (working title: The Wild Things) inspired by Sendak’s iconic tale, to be published by Ecco Press.

time to read

I’m feeling kind of dry, writing-wise. Indehiscent. Time to read, before I dry up and blow away.

So this weekend, I’m going to try to break away from the computer and do some serious reading. Weather should be right for it. It’s not going to be easy, because I’ve been working on putting together a small book of poems and prose vignettes, and I’m kind of hooked on doing that in my free time hours. But I’m convinced that it’s impossible to write if we don’t read.

Here’s what’s on the coffee table. Both are 5 star novels at amazon. Click the photo or the text link to check them out there.

you will be happy

to know that years after I misplaced it, I have finally recovered my copy of Wild Palms by William Faulkner. I found it today as I was straightening some books. It has been missed. Like most of Faulkner’s novels, it begins in a way that draws you in, like being rolled up in a great, rich carpet.

Click the image to see the first page.

This book contains the very famous line, “Between grief and nothing, I’d take grief.”