Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reading

I can stop harping on about the internet and the Mac now. All fixed. It’s time to retire off the old PC and get to love the Mac.

I’ve been reading my first draft. I made the gargantuan mistake of reading Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn at the same time. Not simultaneously, obviously, because that would be impossible. During the day when I was working I read my draft and then when I’d stopped work I’d read One Good Turn. Talk about inferiority complex. I got quite depressed.

When I finished One Good Turn (particularly loved the opening scenes) I started Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is a futuristic, YA novel set in a dystopian US, way out of my genre but one of the blogs I read (I’m sorry I don’t know which one) recommended it as a good example of tension on every page. Son had read it and I like to keep up a bit with what he enjoys so I put it on my pile to read, not really thinking I’d get around to it. Yesterday, I picked it up and started it but it was so… well, not my thing that after a few pages I thought I’d just read a bit to have a look at the way Collins had achieved the tension … and do you know only a few pages later, before I knew it, I couldn’t put it down.

Isn't it funny how a book can creep up on you like that?

10 comments:

HelenMHunt said...

I know what you mean about Kate Atkinson. She is such a fantastic writer, it's sort of inspiring and despair-making at the same time.

Carol said...

I've never heard of Kate Atkinson but I certainly know what you mean about a book creeping up on you!!

Hmmm, Flowers for Algenon and now Hunger Games....we'll make a Sci Fi fan of you yet :-)

C x

liz fenwick said...

I love it when a story takes over. Good luck with the read through of your own and don't be too hard on your self.
lx

Queenie said...

I find that kind of critical reading really useful, although sometimes I have to read the book twice, once because I can't put it down and then again to find out how the writer did that to me!

Fia said...

Kate Atkinson is such an amazing writer. Only a few can break all the rules and be so good. Bugger.

childe91 said...

Kate Atkinson is such a great writer, I do enjoy her books.

Debs said...

That previous comment was from me. I didn't realize daughter had logged on to the computer ;)

Fran said...

Funny. I just re-read Kate Atkinson's 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' and got thoroughly depressed (again) at how accomplished some debut novelists are. She wrote that 15 years ago. I just can't believe it was only her first book. (Maybe it wasn't. Maybe there were twenty others in a drawer somewhere ....)

Jenn Ashworth said...

Ah - I try never to read good books when I'm working on my shitty first draft. You want to have a stock of crap novels, the kind that make you think, 'I can write LOADS better than that' on hand for the perils of diving back into your first draft...

J

JJ Beattie said...

Helen, yes. She makes it look east too and when I go back to my own clunky prose... it's mystifying.

Carol, you must read her! NOW. A sci fi reader of me? hmmm. We still talk about Flowers for Algernon at Book Club though!

Liz, I'll try. Thanks. There's a lot of work to do, not to mention decision making which is my main problem!

Queenie, absolutely. I can start off with quite good intentions and then as I get pulled in... I just read and forget about being analytical.

Fia, she's great isn't she? Bum!

Debs, *laughs* kids huh? She's great. I'm looking forward to 'When Will There Be Good News?'

Fran, OMG, that must be how long ago it is that I read it then! Time to reread it... oh no, it's in the roof in the house in the UK!

Jenn, thank you, that's a welcome piece of advice. I have just the book in mind...