Monday, September 6, 2010

September Book Stack.

Forgive the flashy brightness and glare. I never said I was a photographer. Here's the lineup:

1. Sophie's Choice by William Styron. I have a feeling I'm going to be deeply, profoundly disturbed by this, as I've unfortunately seen the film and I know what happens, but I think it's necessary.

2. Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. I always will represent King in my bookstacks, ALWAYS. Even when I get to the point where I've read everything he's done, I'll just start all over again with no regrets.

3. Once Upon A Day by Lisa Tucker. Yeah. I've already had to abandon this one, although I did get about 3/4 of the way through. I don't want to ever be too harsh when I critique authors because I'm trying to be one myself, and I know how difficult and time-consuming it is to actually write, I'm sure it's only that much harder to actually get published, but this one just didn't do it for me. I'll say that the story was intriguing. But if I'm going to be tactful (and honest), I'm also going to need to say that this author does not have a very good grasp on dialogue, and not just the awkward stuff with the sheltered girl coming out of her hole into the real world. Lisa Tucker is obviously an intelligent, semi-articulate writer. I think she needs to shit can whatever books she's been reading, up the ante, and dive into some Steinbeck, some Oates, or some King.

4. Elements of Style for Screenwriters. (not by Strunc and White, but that's okay). Picked it up at half-price, I think; something I felt was necessary for me to read. Elements of Style is probably the second best book on writing I've read (after King's On Writing). I wrote a pretty decent screenplay during my last year at the U; the most difficult part of it was getting the mechanics of screenwriting down. Hopefully this will be a useful guide for future endeavors.

5. The Shack by William Young. I have heard some troubling things about this, but somehow the drama intrigued me, so here we are. So far, the only thing that has bothered me has been a few phrasing and wording things; Young seems very fond of using NOT, quite a LOT.

"with not a little effort" used at least twice,
"Not for an instant had Mack forgotten about the note."

and this was just the first chapter. But I'm going to press on.

6. What Will Be: How the New World of Information Will Change Our Lives by Michael Dertouzos.
This was on the Starbucks Book Nook Shelf. Obviously I'm coming into this with a huge chip on my shoulder, but see? I can try to see the other guys' side of things, maybe someday I'll even get a cell phone! Hopefully I'll have something other than "gross" to say about all this fancy, mechanical technology. . .

I was considering doing a film stack this month, too. ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?


Donald said...

I don't think you can compare Strunk & White to On Writing. On Writing was mostly an opinion piece detailing how Stephen King approaches writing, while Strunk & White is simple a formatted list of grammatical rules and guidelines. I enjoy both, though I find Strunk & White far more useless and invaluable for any writer, although many of the rules are overly obtuse and, frankly, outdated.

Anna said...

oh Christ, PICKY, PICKY.

yes, strunk and white is probably getting a little outdated. but if you read more awful chick lit you'd know that CLEARLY some authors still could benefit from some basic ground rules.
i'd say anyone who wants to write should read both.