There are times when I feel rather like an obnoxious tourist in the land of literature, slowly learning the ways of the traveller.
Over the past year (and a half!) I’ve discovered books I wouldn’t previously have considered reading; books by authors I hadn’t heard of this time two years ago. I’ve revisited familiar stories, still warm with memories of my childhood. I’ve found new favourites that sit comfortably at the very core of my being, curled up like contented cats…
For me, reading has become an adventure. I never really know what’s going to happen next. It’s actually quite thrilling.
I’m completely aware that I’m not exactly doing this whole “life” thing terribly well. But reading these books, writing these words, makes me feel as if I might just be doing something right.
Sometimes, I like to think of my heart as a small, oddly-shaped bookcase. In idle moments, I ponder the books I’d hide away on these secret shelves.
The contents of this theoretical bookshelf are always changing, as I read new books and remember old favourites. The imaginary dust never has the time to settle before the books are once again reshuffled.
I only know one thing for sure about this pretend bookcase: there’d be a special shelf set aside for my favourite sad books.
Anyone familiar with Book to the Future will know that I always provide a link at the end of my review so you purchase the book I’ve just reviewed.
Not this week.
This week, I’m going to dispense with tradition for once and put the link right at the top of my review. Here it is:
Click here to purchase Of Mice and Men from Booktopia – or else!
Let’s make this clear: you need to read Of Mice and Men. Like, right now. Go on – click that link and place your order.
Then you may keep reading…
Book to the Future isn’t only about reading the so-called classics, you know.
I’m making it my mission to read plenty of popular fiction too. Ideally, I’d like to pursue as much variety in my reading as possible. Although it might seem as if I only read books by dead white dudes, that’s never been the point of this project.
As the years go on, deciding what to read is going to gradually become more and more interesting. And difficult…
Problem: I loved The Great Gatsby.
No – that’s an understatement. I adored The Great Gatsby. There’s so much about Gatsby that’s utterly perfect – the novel’s structure is spot on. And that’s not even to begin to mention the way Fitzgerald so brilliantly brings Gatsby’s tragedy to life.
Another problem: I’ve become just a leeettle bit obsessed with Zelda Fitzgerald. I reviewed her only novel, Save Me The Waltz the week before last. Though I respect him as an author, the more I learn about F. Scott Fitzgerald as a person, the more I despise him. Though, as a writer, Fitzgerald has my complete respect.
Hmm. Conflicted much?
I can see that writing an objective review of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night is going to be pretty much impossible…but, nonetheless, here it is anyway…
When Zelda Sayre married F. Scott Fitzgerald, the couple instantly became New York celebrities. They were young, glamorous – and very much in love. But in private, their marriage was falling apart. Scott was an alcoholic, and had numerous affairs.
The strain on Zelda was tremendous. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Zelda spent time at a residential clinic. There, alone, over the course of six weeks, she wrote her first and only novel: Save Me The Waltz.
When he found out Zelda was muscling in on what he considered to be his territory, her husband was furious. Even more so when he discovered that his wife’s novel was based largely on their private lives…the same private lives he was using as material in his novel, Tender is the Night, which he’d been working on for years. Hellooo, double standards…
It’s not like I set out on purpose to read two iconic works of American literature in two consecutive weeks. No, really. Honest.
After reading Huckleberry Finn last week and As I Lay Dying this week, I’m starting to think with a Southern accent. Please send help. It’s gettin’ powerful bothersome.
Once again, a giant THANK YOU to everyone who voted in my poll last week!
You voted for Huckleberry Finn – so I spent all of last week frantically reading it – all 378 pages. Yep, imagine me, sprawled on a towel by the side of my sister-in-law’s pool on Australia Day, reading what many consider the Great American Novel to the strains of “Marco?” and “POLO!”. Not very Australian of me, I know. If it helps, Jimmy Barnes was playing in the background. Honest.
It was a great day. And, as a sidenote: my lovely orange Popular Penguins copy of Huckleberry Finn now smells strangely like sunscreen and chlorine.