backstory

On the week-end I finished reading All That I Am, by Anna Funder. The same friend who had previously lent me copies of The Narrow Road to the Deep North and All Quiet on the Western Front also once told me that ATIA was one of her most favourite novels written in recent times (as opposed to classics or novels written and published decades ago).

It was probably about three years ago that she told me this. I wrote the name of the book down on a bit of scrap paper (we were at work at the time), and fully intended to read it. I can’t remember why she never lent me a copy of ATIA (too precious?) but I set out to find it in book stores. I don’t think I’d heard of it before, but apparently it was a number-one bestseller at some point.  Continue reading

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Levin

I’m nearing the end of Anna Karenina – I’ve got less than 100 pages to go – and it saddens me so much to know that I must come to the end of this novel that has not only kept me company but comforted me and taught me various things over the last few months. I know I can always just re-read it, and I probably will one day, but there are so many other books I want to read that I’m sure it will be a very, very long time before I do.

The other day when I was reading (probably on the bus on the way to work), I paused for a moment, and looked at the book in my hands – I had the book open, but I was looking at the actual book, not the words on its pages. It brought a sad smile to my face to see how few pages remained in my right hand, while my left hand held all the chapters I’d already read. It was a bittersweet feeling.

I think I mentioned somewhere in a previous post that I wanted to write separate posts for each of the main characters (or, I suppose, for the ones I consider to be main characters) but I wasn’t sure if I would follow through with that idea. I’m still not sure if I will, but, at the very least, I wanted to write one for Levin – Konstantin Dmitrich Levin. [If you choose to read on, please note that there will be spoilers in this post.]  Continue reading

blue sky, names, sadness

After the deluge on Thursday (the day when everyone was actually told to stay at home from school and work due to extreme weather conditions), we had plenty of sunshine yesterday (Friday). I had the day off from work, so of course I wanted to spend the day enjoying these lovely blue skies. The only problem was that the wind still seemed as blustery as it was at the peak of the storm, so I wasn’t particularly keen on going outside…

But who needs to go outside if you’ve got a bed perfectly located under a window? It wasn’t so much a conscious decision to curl up in bed and read all day, as it was just a natural thing to do (like playing music when I turn on my computer, or switching on the TV when I sit down for brekkie on week-ends). And so, as the wind howled and roared outside, I alternately sat and lied in bed reading Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

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Jane Eyre

Alright, I’m going to attempt to write about this book without making it sound too much like some grade 10 English assignment deconstructing a classic novel. Please be warned that this post does contain spoilers. Please also be warned that you quite possibly won’t enjoy reading this post if you haven’t read Jane Eyre.

Also, these are mostly just my random thoughts on the book. I’m not going to make a recommendation to read or not read it because I feel like Jane Eyre is one of those books that you kind of instinctively know you’re going to like/dislike, even without knowing a lot about the story, etc. But, then again, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it wasn’t presented to me, so who knows…

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in case of (writing) emergency

There are a lot of people out there who give advice about writing – bloggers included. When I was writing my novel last year, I read a lot of posts from other writers and editors about the writing process, and I reckon it did help. Maybe I would’ve figured it all out for myself eventually, but why not save some time and pain, and learn from the experiences of other people?  Continue reading

the conclusion of a journey

On Thursday night, I (finally) finished proofreading my novel. In hindsight, I reckon it didn’t actually take that long after I forced myself to sit down and work on it. I didn’t really rewrite much of it, but there were a few (small) paragraphs that I deleted completely and, as reluctant as I was about deleting stuff (so many words that I’d probably agonised over for so long), it also felt quite good to rid my story of all this flotsam and jetsam. In the end, however, I’m pretty sure I added more than I deleted…  Continue reading