I love mysteries. One of the main reasons is to challenge myself to figure out the killer before it is revealed. Most times, I can. But is there another overriding factor?
I read an On Fiction article that got me thinking about the real reason. Keith Oatley talks about P. D. James (love her work) and her thoughts on why murder mysteries grab the reader. Oatley paraphrases P. D. James ideas with , "The detective story has its appeal, she [P. D. James] said in her talk, not because of a death, but because of a murder. Murder is the most horrific of crimes. It damages the fabric of our everyday world. The role of the detective is not to be clever, it's to heal the wound in society. To bring justice, to make the world whole again."
Wow! She is so right. The ending is the beginning -- everything is right again in the world. The world isn't fair but justice almost always brings a resolution and closure.
I will still challenged myself to nab the killer before the detective/protagonist does. But James' idea has opened my eyes to a new, enlightened, and profound concept. Friends have always said I like heavy, dark literature. It will blow their minds that I read mysteries to heal my and the world.
Do you read mysteries? Do you agree with James' premise?
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This week’s question asks:
In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?
More importantly, have you read them?
How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?
Because I used to be a copyeditor and proofreader, so I had many writing style and grammar books. There are three guides that I still have -- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White (both the regular and illustrated edition) and The Chicago Manual of Style.
When I write formal proposals and business correspondence, I am fussy about writng, style, and punctuation. Personal writing (like this) -- not so much!
My favorite punctuation is the em dash! I find it hard to use sometimes when typing on the computer -- easier to use two hypens.
I love receiving ARCs to see how much red pen I can use! Interesting enough, some publishers are better at editing that others. Some ARCs turned out very "bloody!"
What do you say about writing style, grammar, and punctuation? With all the texting going on, does it matter anymore?
(Remember -- this is personal writing. No lectures, please!)
The American Booksellers Association unveils the finalists for the 2010 Indies Choice Book Awards. Booksellers at ABA members stores will cast ballots to choose the winners in eight categories.
Six Reading Group Choices' selected books were including in the finalists! Check them out for great discussion ideas for reading groups!
The Indies Choice Book Awards reflect the spirit of independent bookstores and the IndieBound movement. The winners, to be announced in April, will be honored at BookExpo America 2010 in New York City.
ADULT FICTION Nominees
Border Songs, by Jim Lynch
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt
Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
Generosity: An Enhancement, by Richard Powers
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
ADULT NONFICTION Nominees
Animals Make Us Human, by Temple Grandin
Lit: A Memoir, by Mary Karr The Lost City of Z, by David Grann
Stitches: A Memoir, by David Small Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder When Everything Changed, by Gail Collins
ADULT DEBUT Nominees
The Earth Hums in B Flat, by Mari Strachan
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
The Piano Teacher, by Y.K. Lee
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larson
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
Tinkers, by Paul Harding
MOST ENGAGING AUTHOR Nominees
(The author who is an in-store star as well as having a strong sense of the importance of indie booksellers to the community.)
Laurie Halse Anderson
Congratulations to all authors and Good Luck!
Teaser Tuesdays (Hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading) is here again. I'm still reading Angelology and used the title last week. I loving it! So, I will grap some some lines from one of the books I received yesterday.
"It was a brisk autumn day and the platform was blustery. Louisa felt the skirts of her slim black dress swirl around the ankle boots, the pair she'd had for years, the pair she'd worn in Rome in the cathedrals, in Nice, in the parlor of the Paris inn where she'd shared wine with a Polish revolutionary as he described the deaths of all his friends.'' -- The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees, April 2010
Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa's writing career-and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in Little Women. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire in 1855, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life. -- publisher description
Love Little Women and A Long Fatal Love Chase. can't wait to read about Louisa!
What's your TT?
In a previous post, I answer a question about how reading opens doors of learning, imagination, understanding of other worlds and times. So, if I don't read books that challenge me in one way or another -- I was disingenuous. And, I wasn't.
I belong to a reading group! Reading groups and book clubs tend to open horizons for all the readers. The diversity of the club allows diversity of reading -- stretching members minds to books they wouldn't pick up themselves. That's the beauty of book club!
Preferring genres over anothers doesn't constitute a hatred for them but I do tend to avoid them. There is no specific "genre" associated with these not-preferred books -- I know them when I see them! But, I also know that there is value in all reading. Therefore, I will accept Amy's challenge and read two books of that type in 2010 -- the fluffy commercial formulaic tugs at your heart-strings tear-jerker books!
Do you read books that you "know" you will hate? Will you join me in Amy's challenge?
Booking Through Thursday is hosted by http://btt2.wordpress.com/
This week's question, suggested by Janet, asks:
"I’ve seen this quotation in several places lately. It’s from Sven Birkerts’ ‘The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age’:
'To read, when one does so of one’s own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it.'
To what extent does this describe you?"
Interesting question, Janet! My life has been happy and fufilling, so far. Though, like everyone, I have ups and downs-- "life" must go on! I agree with the "movement" aspect -- an mind and soul journey -- of Birkerts' quote concerning but totally disagree with the "insufficiency' statement.
Reading is a passionate part of my life--celebrating learning, imagination, understanding other cultures and ideas, the incredible art of writing (which I don't have) and, of course, fun and escape! I work in the book biz --translating my fascination of books and reading to my career. Got to love that!
The reading "motion' or journey gives me a chance to find out that everyone has an incredible story. Learn it and be amazed! If I can hear, imagine, believe, understand someone else's story, my life is enriched. No insufficiency, here!
Do you agree with Sven Birkerts’ idea? What does it say about reading groups and book clubs?
International Women's Day is March 8, celebrating the economic, political and social global achievements of women past, present and future.
So on March 8, Hollywood Unites celebrates International Women's Day with Out of the Silence: Readings from The Afghan Women's Writing Project. The event features a theatrically staged program of powerful essays and poems written by emerging Afghan women writers, who often face estrangement, beatings, and even death for creatively expressing themselves through the written word. Reception starts at 6 pm at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, California.
Novelist Masha Hamilton (31 Hours, The Camel Bookmobile, The Distance Between Us) started the Afghan Women's Writing Project (AWWP) in 2009, in response to the plight of Afghan women and the repressive conditions that silence their voices and their stories. The Afghan Women’s Writing Project's aim is allowing Afghan women to have a direct voice in the world, not filtered through male relatives or members of the media.
AWWP has more than 50 women journalists, novelists, poets, memoirists and screenwriters mentoring and teaching Afghan women writers through secure, internet-based classrooms.
Tell us your ideas for celebrating women in March!
I will start this book tonight so I will grab the first paragraph (I was going to do the first two sentences but wow -- I have to finish the paragraph!) Angelology released on March 9.
Devil's Throat Cavern, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria
The angelolists examined the body. It was intact, without decay, the skin as smooth and white as parchment. The lifeless aquamarine eyes gazed heavenward. Pale curls fell against a high forehead and sculptural shoulders, forming a halo of golden hair. Even the robes -- the cloth woven of a white shimmering metallic material that none of them could identify exactly -- remained pristine, as if the creature had died in a hospital room in Paris and not a cavern deep below the earth.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
What's your TT?
Congratulations are being random picked. You will receive an email from me today! Go Valentine, Go Adriana, and thanks to HarperCollins!
Brava, Valentine has great discussion points for book clubs and reading groups.
Adriana shares history behind the story!
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
What great books did you hear about/discover this past week?
Three came in the mail this week! All three are written by authors I love.
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamont (April 2010)
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (April 2010)
A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (April 2010)
Great book club picks!
What did you find?