The Printed Page.
Another slow week, but some good bargains at the Goodwill sale (no book over $1.50)!
Retold out of the old romances, this collection of Arthurian tales endeavors to make each adventure--"The Quest for the Round Table", "The First Quest of Sir Lancelot", "How the Holy Grail Came to Camelot", and so forth--part of a fixed pattern that effectively presents the whole story, as it does in Le Morte D'Arthur, but in a way less intimidating to young readers.
My name is Susannah Simon, and I am a mediator a liason between the living and the dead. If you think this gets in the way of my attempt at a normal sixteen-year-old life, you'd be right. You try going to the mall while constantly being accosted by the undead.
Not that this is a bad thing all the time. Like, for example, when I discovered my bedroom is haunted by Jesse, the ghost of a nineteenth-century hottie. While I haven't made much progress with him (only one kiss so far), I remain optimistic. Jesse's inexplicable resistance to my charms is not my only obstacle, though: there's this other guy. A live one, who has the same gift of gab with the undead I have. In the same way I'm after Jesse, this guy is after me. And he knows how to send Jesse to the Great Beyond. For good.
So I guess you could say I'm haunted. I just never thought it would be by someone who isn't dead.
More musings from Natalie Goldberg on writing as a spiritual path, as "an authentic Zen way." Goldberg has some nice things to say about the importance of the process of writing. She recommends her students spend two years at writing "practice" before undertaking a specific project, so that they can "get in touch with their wild minds." The most inspired writing, she says, comes when one's conscious mind gets out of the way. Still, we are puzzled by Thunder and Lightning: is it really meant to show us how to turn "our flashes of inspiration ... into a polished piece of work," as the book jacket touts? It comes off more as a collection of Goldberg's ruminations on writing and reading. Goldberg tells us about her friend Julie's writing process. Another pal, Kate, talks about plot. We study Styron with Goldberg's workshop students and take a road trip through the South to try to figure out just how some of the poorest states in the union managed to produce so many great writers. There are some good stories here, and it's vaguely interesting to know what Nat likes to order when she does her café writing or lunches with her editors, but we end up desiring a little less wandering and a little more focus. --Jane Steinberg
One Person's Journey through a world of Books.
The Tale of the Body Thief--Anne Rice (audio book)
The Silent Governess-Julie Klassen (review coming up soon)
Creeping Shadows--Alan Draven, Brandon Ford, Jessica Lynne Gardner
Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You--Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.
Queen of the Damned--Anne Rice (on audio)
Coming Up Next:
The Dark Divine--Bree Despain
Under the Dome--Stephen King