Monday, February 04, 2008

Reading is Progress, Right?

I was supposed to take January to knock out the Hippo book proposal, once and for all.

Instead of writing books, I read books. It's partially Brett's fault, since his admission of having knocked only one book off his to-be-read pile spurred me to tackle my own pile of books. Which unfortunately gets a little bigger every Sunday, when I visit the one-dollar used book sale at the church down the street. So it's also my fault for not resisting the pull of the used book sale.

Here's what I've gotten through in 2008, when I was supposed to be working on my own book proposal

Eat, Pray, Love. This one was even cheaper than a dollar, since I got it out of Craig's free books pile when he left Egypt. I kept trying to give it back to him as it is autographed to him, but he refused to take it, having finished it over a year ago. My latest plan is to mail it (unmarked) to him at his new office in Princeton.

Battle of the Bands. Steve Buccellato's Tokyopop manga, in which bands have to fight for the right to perform, or rather fighting is part of the performance. I realize that sounds ridiculous, and seems even more so when you see the cover of the four female protagonists hanging out in a hot tub in their bikinis, but it's actually tongue-in-cheek.

Earthlight 1 and Earthlight 2. Stuart's Tokyopop series about kids who go to high school. On the moon.

Around the World in 80 Dates, by Jennifer Cox. Read as part of my research into what other women's "emotional growth through travel" books are out there.

Glory In A Camel's Eye, by Jeffrey Tayler. I like Jeffrey Tayler's books, but this one surprised me because when I finished it and turned it over, an old friend's name (from my creaky old indie rock days) stared at me from the design credits. The book is a great read and the cover design is exceptional. I liked it before I checked the credits.

On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan. I was flummoxed by the protagonist's actions. "Why doesn't he just apologize? What is his problem?" Could I have brought my own baggage along for the read? Er, uh, maybe.

Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It, by Geoff Dyer. He petulantly argues with touts and admits (gasp) to being jaded and bored. Not even a nod to what he surely knows is expected of him in a travel book. Who said any book classified as travel has to be whimsical, insightful, or about an internal voyage mirroredbythephysicalevoyagewithnoblesavages blah blah blah? I loved it. I bet he got brutalized on Amazon.

February. That's the month I'll finish my book proposal. No more reading until I have a proposal to show others.


Ed Ward said...

Ha! And you told me you were going to read Colin Thubron!

Actually, I've always found that writing alternates between periods of input and periods of output. Sometimes you work out your own writing subconsciously while you're reading others'.

Dunno if it's true, but it makes a plausible excuse.

Marie said...

It seems that my criteria for what I'll read is "Is it small enough to carry on the train?" Only the Eat, Pray, Love book was exempted. I read that one even though it was hardcover, because I felt I should for my book proposal. Colin Thubron is still here though.

I like the plausible excuse. I'm working out my own writing subconsciously. My subconscious must be working real hard since I always seem to be exhausted. And it is being really sneaky, keeping it all from me until it is all revealed in a dramatic swoop.

Don said...

I recommend "Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak" by Victoria Jason along with "Paddle to the Arctic" by Don Starkell who also previously wrote about his paddle to the Amazon from Manitoba. Jason and Starkell shared (part way) physical and emotional journeys. Both went about the Northwest Passage from different perspectives. Real Venus and Mars stuff. She made it, he didn't. Alas, Jason's adventures-to-be were curtailed by cancer.

Brett said...

I read more than one book I just acquired more books along the way. it's like a sickness.

Amanda Castleman said...

Studies have shown that writers "procrastination" time is, in fact, fruitful.

Then again, science has also provided us with a formula to measure procrastination. Plus a bunch of ways to cure it.

Who knows?

Kel said...

This is an impressive procrastination reading list...and you were doing research, all part of the book proposal process :)

I have yet to read Eat, Pray, Love -- but I did read 80 dates awhile back, and wrote a short review at WR:

Marie said...

80 Dates made it sound so... difficult. And taught me the meaning of "koala ears."

As for Eat, Pray, Love, it sounds like I've found a home for Craig's autographed copy. Kelly!

Kel said...

Nope...back to the drawing board on that one, I already bought a copy...sitting in my pile of "to be read...someday!" But thanks, though!