Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll – 5/11/10

We’re halfway through the week already! I hope everyone is having as smooth of a week as we are having over in our Persephone offices.  Today’s LTP is a bookish one.  I just started reading Cat’s Eye after I read The Handmaid’s Tale for Middlemarch Madness and loved it.  I don’t know how I lived my life, attending two women’s colleges, and managed to never read anything by Margaret Atwood.  Better late than never, though, and I’m happy I have  a new author that I’m really enjoying.  Have you “discovered” any new authors recently? Finally read something you’d heard a lot about and never read?  Read something great by a lesser-known author?  Let us know in the comments!

By Luci Furious

There are no bad times, only good stories.

7 replies on “Lunchtime Poll – 5/11/10”

I’m in the middle of reading a book I’ve meant to read for years, Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein. It’s excellent. I’m a non-fiction junkie but not big on crime stuff. His writing is so excellent though that I’ve just been ripping through the book. Beyond the crime tales, it’s a great look at Japanese society from an outsiders perspective.

On the subject of Margaret Atwood: last summer I went to a garage sale and picked up a pretty old copy of the Handmaid’s Tale and promptly forgot about it in the back seat of my mom’s car. When I went home for vacation, I started reading it again, flipped it open to the front cover and it was signed! It was a great surprise for the 25 cent garage sale find.

Ooh, Luci F you must read Oryx and Crake. It’s maybe my most favourite of Atwood’s. Though I have a soft spot for Surfacing because it was the first book of her’s I read and the first novel she wrote. And it’s weird and dark. I’ve actually just gotten into China Mieville and am really liking his stuff. Pretty over-written, but in a self-aware way that I appreciate. Plus his characters never fail to surprise me.

I’ve regularly got a number of books going. Recently I tore through The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and its sequel, Broken Kingdoms in a day. And I mean I tore through — I read all 500 hundred pages of the first one in a couple of hours, raced over to the library, grabbed the sequel, and read another 500 pages in two hours. I thought they were really great fantasy novels.

Last night I finished a truly terrible horror novel called Audrey’s Door which I picked up on recommendation after I told someone I wanted to read some 80s-style horror. And I finished Homer and Langely last week for book club, which I liked quite a bit.

Up now: A Farewell to Arms (book club) , Reading Like A Writer, and A Kind of Intimacy though it hasn’t really grabbed me yet and might get thrown on the pile of ‘never finishing’. All of which will get bumped as soon as the library gets the new Sookie Stackhouse book in for me.

I’ve read bits and pieces of Reading Like A Writer, it’s good but if you are a fiction writer I’d recommend James Wood’s How Fiction Works and Robert McKee’s Story which is actually about screenplay writing but is great for fiction writers. If you know, you’re a fiction writer. And haven’t already read these books. Hooray for unsolicited recommendations! But seriously, both of those books taught me more about fiction writing then all of my Creative Writing degree fiction courses ever did.

I’d classify myself as a fiction writer who gets sidetracked writing a lot of non-fiction these days. I’ve been trying to devote more time to fiction.

Thank you for the suggestions! I’ve found that I’ve gotten really into reading how other writers approach their craft and about the structure of fiction, so I’m happy to have recommendations. I found I really loved Ariel Gore’s book, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead, not because I’m interested in ‘fame’ (and the book isn’t really about that) but because she was just so damn enthusiastic about writing. It practically leaped off the page. I finished the book feeling very energized about working on my own stuff. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been a fan of hers for years, from back when she was writing Hip Mama.

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