Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel

Posted on August 13, 2014. Filed under: Books, writing | Tags: , , , |

Nope, not mine. Not yet, anyway. 🙂 Actually, I am pretty sure the only prize my first completed novel will win will be something like the “Best Beach Read of 2015,” or “Best novel to turn into an awesome summer movie!” I would be pretty happy with either of those.

But while seeking out representation – yes, still looking for a literary agent (apparently they don’t respond overnight) – and continuing to work on the sequel to my first novel, I have been reading a lot of other books.

Now, I don’t like to say bad things about books, in general, because I know how hard it is to write a book. And, having never had a novel published, I don’t exactly have the right to speak ill of other people’s successful careers. So I am going to try to say this without sounding like a horrible person – I don’t understand why The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer. I recently finished reading it and I really don’t get it. I liked the first half of the book. I cared about the main character. My heart broke for him. I thought the writing was amazing. And then it took a turn down an unbelievable alley and my sympathy for the main character disappeared along the way and I found it really hard to force myself to get to the end of the book when I just wasn’t buying it.

But it won the Pulitzer! I mean, it has to be great, right? Okay, okay, so there’s at least one other book that has won in the last decade that I don’t think deserved it, but mostly I have loved many of the books on the list. Mostly, I think they have chosen well. Which is why I have such a problem with this one. I keep thinking, what am I not getting? Is it because I have gotten old and my brain is too small to understand the genius of the book? Or maybe it’s because my life has had so many disasters in it now that I have survived this long, that I just prefer happier books?

I don’t know. So, here’s my question. Is it just me? Have I lost my reading taste buds? Or is it that maybe, just maybe, the Pulitzer Prize is not always given to the most fantastic book?

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What I Learned from Sharp Objects

Posted on June 16, 2013. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , , |

I have been confined to my bed. It sounds so romantic when you say it that way. Better than “bed rest,” in any case.  And, in truth, thankfully, they have recently given me permission to do things like sit up, so it’s more like chair rest.

Still, for the sake of the monster growing in my belly, I am supposed to take it easy, which means I get to do a little summer reading, a couple weeks early.

I figured I would try to find a few good books that may be similar in style or content to the novel I am trying to finish.  I had heard a lot of good things about “Gone Girl,” which seems to be this season’s “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but when I went to buy it on Amazon, I liked the premise of “Sharp Objects” better, so got that one instead.

I was very happy with the book – which took me about 3 bed rest days to read. I am not about to write a review of it other than to say it moved at a quick pace, kept me interested, and I liked and sympathized with the main character.

What was great for me, personally, was to see how much detail and information Gillian Flynn included about location and character in each chapter.  My critics – meaning friends who are reading my chapters for me – keep telling me that my novel is moving too quickly, that they need me to give them more information about the characters, about the world I am creating.  And I keep balking. I am writing an action/thriller after all.  It should move quickly.  I don’t want to slow it down or bore people with too much information.

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Thoughts on The Shipping News

Posted on May 13, 2013. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , |

Last week I finished reading “The Shipping News” by E. Annie Proulx.  I realize I am about 15 years behind on that trend, but a friend lent me the book and I remember hearing it was supposed to be good.  And it was very good. I highly recommend reading it.

The reason I wanted to write about it, as opposed to the many, many books I read and don’t blog about, is because I thought the style of writing was so unique that it seemed worth mentioning.  The book is about Quoyle, a 30 something man with a pretty unsuccessful life that he’s been a bit of a bystander to.  A series of events occur and he ends up moving with his aunt and two daughters to Newfoundland, where the way of life is a bit different.  Then his life changes.

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