Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, authors, classic fiction, classic literature, contemporary fiction, creative writing, David Burns, Elixir, Girl Interrupted, non fiction, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Orlando, Russian literature, self help books, Susanna Kaysen, technical writing, The Razor's Edge, Virginia Woolf, W. Somerset Maugham, writers, writing
One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (classic)
I am a self-diagnosed Rusophile and of, course Russian literature comes right along with that…I’ve read bits and peices of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag and Cancer Ward, but was always a bit afraid of ending up way over my head. I thought it would be a good idea to read One Day In the Life first, because of its length and accessibility. About half way through and I’m enjoying it. I think I was under the impression that the book would give you little glimpses into moments of Ivan’s day, heavy with detail, but really, it’s the other way around…a sparsely detailed account of the whole damn day. I’m down with that.
Orlando- Virginia Woolf (assigned text)
Wow, this is NOT what I expected. I’ve read A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway and several essays, but Woolf always surprises me because she’s so versatile- every time I think I have her style or narrative voice pinned down, it changes completely. This is funny as hell, and I’ve never read anything like it before. This might sound old-fashioned too, but I’m a little shocked by the subject matter, that she would take on something like back in the day…ballzy.
Girl, Interrupted- Susanna Kaysen (contemporary)
Ok, Ok, maybe it’s because I’m reading Woolf right now, but UGH. This is just not very good. I get that it was written by a crazy person and you’re just supposed to go with the flow of the thing but the angsty, self obsessed ramblings and the whole “rich girl goes to a nuthouse, but really she’s just bored” storyline is just…bumming me out. I understand that the whole thing is clearly supposed to be vapid like that but it doesn’t make it any more fun to read. I find that I’m constantly asking the narrator- “who cares?!”
Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs– Marcia Riefer Johnston (assigned text)
This little book is pretty awesome and has come in handy for my technical writing & editing classes. I am more of a creative type writer. When I try and write technically, I use far too many words and end up not saying a whole a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with my point. This book has actually helped me make my writing more concise but pushing me to form my precise meaning before doing any writing, then stating my meaning as simply and powerfully as I can. Anyone who does any type of business writing/emails for an office/administrative notes…you need to get this book.
Elixir- Hilary Duff (YA)
Yeah, Yeah. Sometimes you need a little brain candy. This is nice to read if I’ve been drinking. It’s exactly what I expected it to be, and that’s ok. I just wish famous actresses/singers/models/whatevers would actually write the books the put their names on instead of hiring some ghost writer to do it for them. Would this book REALLLLLY have been THAT DIFFICULT to write, Hilary???? REALLLLLLYYYY?????? no. No, it wouldn’t have been. I like Hilary’s teeth though. I want veneers.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy- David D. Burns (non-fiction)
Many doctors and counselors have suggested this book to me, so I am finally tackling it. I’m about 30 pages into it, and I already feel like he’s trying to sell me something. I already bought the book, dude. Calm down. I know I need to let go of whatever preconceived notions I have about this and let him…therapy me…but it’s weird when someone tells you right off the bat, “yeah, I can fix you, NP, NP” and you’re like, “I’ve been this way my whole life, are you sure?” I can’t help but be suspicious. I’m going to really work at it though. If it helps, great. If not/…no biggie. I don’t have anything to lose.
The Razor’s Edge- W. Somerset Maugham
Just threw this one in here because I’m going to start it tomorrow- the jury is still out.