The new semester started and everything’s going full swing again, yet still I’ve gotten some things done that I’m proud of finding the time to do.
First up, I read this very strange ‘On Method Acting,’ inspired by my earlier read of ‘Moonwalking with Einstein.’ I wanted to up my game a bit with my writing, which means sometimes venturing off in odd areas to see things differently. Here, this book helped me see how to develop a character more authentically, but really, with all of its advice on how to draw forth the character in the actor naturally, it came off rather spiritualistic. Seriously, you could easily swap this out with any book that talks about focus and life, and you’d barely notice the difference. Overall, I liked it.
Then I moved on to Carry On. I’ve wanted to read this for a while, having liked many other Rainbow Rowell books. At first, I’d have to say it was a bit disconcerting, what with it seeming so Harry Potter-like. In that way, I agree with a lot of the naysayers out there. However, very quickly, she separates it from the former with very creative differences. At the same time, it hits a very satirical note, bashing the copycats that flourished after HP’s wake. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
My next book I waited for all of vacation to get—Skin in the Game. I loved his old ones—Black Swan, Anti-fragile—and could wait for this. I was extremely excited and then…I felt like I hit a brick wall. What a letdown! Where he had this interesting, different point of view, now he just seems to yell and pontificate at the world. I had admired his drive to be a well-self-educated person, but now—quite possibly—he’s become so secure in his ways, that he’s calcified the way he sees the world—that being against everyone else. I would say pass on this.
Disheartened, I needed something to pick me up, and Higashino always pulls through, especially with Malice. The book starts out with his usual details—which always come back in the end, though I had no idea until I reached it. This book is wonderfully crafted and keeps you guessing the whole time. None of his novels follow the same format—it’s crazy. He’s always reinventing the way he writes which makes it refreshing every time you pick up one of his books. A must read!
With that high, I dove into what I thought would be a light, but pleasurable romp—Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. God, was I wrong. It seems like every book with Peter in the title, save Peter Pan, can’t help but suck. I’ve read a few over the years. Though this one wasn’t the worst, it certainly helped add more ire to the name Peter in the title of books. The writing was redundant, too think, and the plot was highly predictable. Even more frustrating, this got enough fans that he made a second. I want to gouge my eyes out.
With nothing to lose, I tackled a book on my shelf for a long time—Education and the Significance of Life. When I had originally glanced at it ages ago, the idea of education and spirituality was interesting, as well as the short section I read. However, after jumping into this sparse book—raking in a mere 125 pages—I found it toilsome and aggravating. All the worst crimes of writing were there: repetition, wordiness, and a lack of clarity. By the end, I understood what he thought education shouldn’t be, but I didn’t see any advice on what it should. Skip this book.
Finally, with its immense count of pages, I picked up A Little Life. At first I didn’t know what to think, but as I went on, I loved this book more and more. First off, it has a light, fast tone, reminiscent of Time Traveler’s Wife in the way that everyday events are detailed, which may drive some readers crazy. I didn’t mind, though. Then there were they unusual relationships that made it unique. Many complained about this part, citing how could a woman know about gay relationships, saying she portrayed them horribly to be anti-gay. I didn’t get that at all. Others attacked the friends for not help Jude enough, calling them enablers. Again, that didn’t really seem like the point of the book. Near the end, everything does come together, and you really see what the author was striving for. If not, you can always read a couple of her interviews and get the same—though the book is much more powerful. The best of the month, by far!
Progress on 2018 goals
1) Finish Brief Lives / Query / Synopsis: Done / 2 letters / halfway: Done
2) New project: Something brewing to do with graphic novels. Working on it.
3) Student workbook: More than half written out. Still looking into template.
4) Spring Reading:
J.R.: 400 out 712 pages
Quixote: Not started
5) Read 75 books: 37
Next Month’s Agenda
I’ve got a huge outline already started for my next project. I’m beginning to skew away from graphic novel, though I’d like to incorporate it somehow. Either way, I want to make it big, like 600pages or more big. Added to that, I’ve ponder releasing my other books that no agent seems to think are worthy. Who knows? We’ll see.