Tag Archives: literature

The Reading List #3

Oh yes, it’s another one of these again! Why? Because I have been getting very behind on my reading as of late. I don’t need to explain why this is at all (I’ve gone from having too many hours in the day to too few), but the fact remains that I still have a lot of books from Christmas left to read, plus some very new ones.

An update on where I left off (which was all the way back in October of last year). I made headway with Less Than Zero and read Imperial Bedrooms twice as the result of nearly two months of read trips with my dad. I’ll be reviewing these nearer the end of the month. ChokeInvisible Monsters and The Informers were also some picks of mine, with reviews to come, but the fact remains that there is still an awful lot left on my shelf to read. Considering months seem a lot shorter than they used to, though, I doubt I’ll be finishing all of these any time soon. Some of the books I’m hoping to sink my teeth into, and soon, though, are as follows:

On the Road
On The Road – Jack Kerouac

Reading about this book gives the sense that it is an important literary work. I probably won’t be able to dispute this in the slightest; and Beat literature is something I’ve been wanting to delve into for a while. There is something about Kerouac’s On The Road that captures my imagination, but other than this, I’m not entirely sure of what to expect – good things, of course, and fascinating things, and if some reviews are anything to go by, the same sense of freedom and wanderlust perpetuated by Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum DiaryI bought my copy today, so more on this to come very soon.

Cathedral

Cathedral – Raymond Carver

There are an awful lot of Carver’s books that I want to read, Cathedral is placed here because of all the great things I have heard about it. Minimalism is something that fascinates me, so the idea of exploring Carver’s stories is an exciting prospect for me and, I feel, important in understanding the technique. The prose might be a refreshing or welcome change, and I’m quite looking forward to it, and to immersing myself in it.

Glamorama

Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis

I guess I lied previously when I stated that I only had The Informers and Imperial Bedrooms left of Ellis’ work to read. I guess I was ‘young’ and didn’t know. Regardless, I’m pleased to say that I received a copy of Glamorama for Christmas, but haven’t yet gotten around to reading it. The fact that it is nearly 600 pages long wasn’t really off-putting to me, but at the same time, I do feel as though I will really need to throw myself into this book to gain anything from it. Not a bad thing at all, but there’s a kind of build-up to this book. Honestly, with the way things are going, I have a sneaking suspicion that it may just take all of September for me to finish. Get ready for one hell of a review when I do.

The Road

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I’ll admit it. I found out about The Road by way of the Fallout Wikia. It may be a step away from the usual for me, but more than likely a pleasant one. I read the first couple of pages as soon as I bought it, but didn’t continue. This had nothing to do with how I felt about the book, just that it was at a time when I was attempting to read about three different ones and wasn’t giving any of them the attention required. There is something incredibly haunting about what little I have read of McCarthy’s prose, though, so I would quite like to see this in full force and intend to do so very soon.

Survivor

Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk

A while ago, when I first started to get into Palahniuk’s work, I was also watching a lot of 9/11 documentaries on television – the end result of watching these documentaries was a kind of paranoia that every time I left the house something horrible was going to happen. This may have had some bearing as to why I didn’t even consider reading Survivor, but the paranoia has since passed and I’m looking to get back on a bit of a Palahniuk bender, starting with the above. I’m already fairly sure that I’ll breeze through this – Chuck’s novels all seem to have the same effect on me – and I’m hopeful of the prospects.

So, this is my offering for the time being; and if anyone has any recommendations they’d like to shoot me way based on the above, feel free; I welcome new reading material at every opportunity. I suppose that this means a number of book reviews will start popping up from time to time, and of course, I have plans. Oh yes, I have plans. For the time being, though, I’ll hopefully be steadily working through these books for the duration of September until the madness of October hits, and afterwards – of course – NaNoWriMo. I’m getting ahead of myself. This list should keep me busy for quote some time yet.

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A Twist

The subject of A Level results has hardly been downplayed this year, irrespective of anything and everything that has gone on pertaining to Higher Education (I’m sure we all know what I’m talking about here).

I’m not going to University this year. The exact reasons behind it are not so much complicated as many, and my next step was to, essentially,  start claiming Job Seekers Allowance while steering myself towards the bleak, desolate land otherwise known as the current job market.

Results day has left me utterly confused. While desperately wanting that A Grade in English Language and Literature, I never thought I would get it. Hence why I didn’t even try to entertain the prospect of getting into University – admittedly, not all of my grades reach the same standard, however, there is one that makes me wish I’d have studied it sooner. Made different choices. Hindsight would be a wonderful thing, I suppose. I got the grade, by the way.

Now that I’ve gained a little more confidence in my ability (that I have always, always put down to a lack of application that yields surprising results – I didn’t focus throughout my GCSEs, and my A Level track record has been … shabby at best) I am forced to consider that perhaps I should put it to use of some kind. No, I do not consider myself gifted, talented, or particularly special in any way. I just have this unfortunate habit of fragmenting my grades to the point of not being able to take them anywhere – A Levels, half A Levels (left behind at AS), and underpinning it all is one undeniable fact: I’m nineteen, twenty next year, I need to broaden my horizons. That, and I cannot think of any conceivable way in which to afford an education next year. This is before transport is thrown into the equation.

Essentially, this entry is most likely pointless, forgettable, and possibly unreadable. Mostly it is the acknowledgment of something I am proud of, and other things I am not so proud of, and the sudden questions and possibilities they pose. In fact, writing this has been nothing short of simply raising my hands and proclaiming ‘I’m lost’.

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Book Reviews?

When considering the prospect, the very first question that sprung to mind was ‘what makes me qualified to review any published author’s work?’

The answer? Nothing. I am in no way, shape, or form qualified to review works by writers who are more accomplished than I am at all. What might give me some ground to stand on, however, is the fact that I am human, and humans generally have the ability to form opinions of the things that they experience.

Although this is primarily a blog about writing, to write about one is to write about the other. They go hand in hand, and so, I feel little or no trepidation at all when I say that I will be writing book reviews, for no-one’s amusement but my own.

This is all coming off rather badly, isn’t it? When I say my own amusement, I don’t mean that I get a kick out of being overly critical about a book I have read. I mean to say that I would prefer to share points that others the Internet over may not have highlighted, or moments that stand out for me more vividly than others. Everyone experiences literature differently. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to share it?

So, in essence, what I am saying is that, sometimes, I lack the motivation to write a thousand words or more on my own writing experiences (which in hind sight seems rather self-absorbed anyway), so instead, I’ll write about the writing of others.

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