Several Short Sentences About Writing is a beautiful book about rethinking the way we write, starting at the sentence level. Here Klinkenborg describeSeveral Short Sentences About Writing is a beautiful book about rethinking the way we write, starting at the sentence level. Here Klinkenborg describes how we are taught to fear our own thinking and conclusions as we read and write. He refutes things we’ve been taught since childhood -- topic sentences, transitions, and ideas like writers block and inspiration. “Why were you taught to dwell on transitions?” he asks. “It was assumed you can’t write clearly. And that even if you could write clearly, the reader needs a handrail through your prose.” Transitions clutter our writing. So why not simply write clearly?
He says anything you think you need in order to write – a pen, a space, quiet, a song . . . is actually a hindrance to your writing: get rid of it.
Klinkenborg touches on the idea of inspiration. And then debunks it. “What matters isn’t how fluidly the sentences are emitted. Only how good they are.” In fact, he says inspiration can hinder your writing:
“You have an effusion one day. It spawns a piece. As the piece evolves, you try to protect those original, effusive sentences. Only to realize, at last, that what you’re writing won’t come together until they’ve been removed or revised.”
I have done this very thing in the past -- keeping a sentence, moving it around to force it to fit, positive that I need this sentence, that I cannot possibly remove it . . . but letting go may have been the best thing. Avoid sentence that write themselves, he says. But how do I erase years of thinking that these are the best kind? Or should I? One of my favorite things about this book is that while it's full of advice, it also asks the reader to come to her own decision.
There is so much food for thought here, and so many things I missed on the first read that Klinkenborg helps the writer discover. ...more
One Thousand Gifts demands to be read slowly, methodically, so the reader can soak up every word: anything less would not do it justice. Voscamp has aOne Thousand Gifts demands to be read slowly, methodically, so the reader can soak up every word: anything less would not do it justice. Voscamp has a beautiful story to tell, and a unique and lyrical way of telling it. There were times I wanted to read the entire book aloud just to hear the sound of her melodic prose. Rarely has a book like this had such an emotional impact, not just because of the ideas brought forth, but because of the words used to express those ideas.
While I can’t agree to all of Voscamp’s claims when they’re followed to their theological conclusion, I find her thoughts on thankfulness and gratitude so powerful that, in the end, I don’t know that it matters.
She inspired me time and time again to pause, observe, and thank. Such a simple action with such importance for our daily lives and such an impact on our relationship with God.
I read this book slowly because I didn’t want it to end. When it did, I wanted to pick it back up and start over again. ...more
This book is proof that young adult books can speak in ways "adult" fiction can't. The Book Thief is amazing; it deals with the events of World War IIThis book is proof that young adult books can speak in ways "adult" fiction can't. The Book Thief is amazing; it deals with the events of World War II in Germany in a way I haven't seen before and at times is just as powerful as books with much more graphic (and potentially unnecessary) detail. Using Death as the narrator was a stroke of brilliance, and added a mysterious (but not mystical--the book is very grounded in reality) element to the story telling.
I recommend this book to everyone. Literally. Some background information might be necessary for those young enough to need a little World War II history (although the Holocaust and other events of WWII are mentioned, they are not expanded upon much as the text mainly focuses on Liesel), but in general the book stands on its own. ...more
Ransom comes from the long history of Greek literature and the harrowing world Homer created in the Iliad. Ransom captivated me, pulling me in from stRansom comes from the long history of Greek literature and the harrowing world Homer created in the Iliad. Ransom captivated me, pulling me in from start to finish.
The prose in Ransom is almost musical, and each chapter adds another level to the novel’s score. I don’t know enough about the history of Priam, or Achilles and Patroclus’s friendship, to make accurate judgments as to how many liberties David Malouf takes with their stories, although Malouf does explain some of the larger details he manipulated in a brief summary at the back of the book.
Although the Trojan War is the novel’s backdrop, it is barely mentioned, and I am surprised at how little I noticed the lack of Helen or Paris or Agamemnon. Malouf instead focuses in on the internal struggles of Priam and Achilles as they deal with the loss of people they loved.
Achilles’s anger is a palpable force in the novel, one that rages and simmers as he demands justice for Patroclus’s death and the gods are unwilling to grant it. Priam’s story is especially moving as the reader is taken from his harsh childhood, through his relationship with his wife Hecuba, and to his musings as the cart driver clandestinely takes him to retrieve Hector. I love how Priam is forced to evaluate how his people live and examine the small things in life in a way he never has before. The story is packed full of the emotions of fatherly and brotherly love and is a masterpiece of writing; I definitely look forward to reading more of Maulouf’s work. ...more
I picked up this book again after not reading it for quite a while. I remembered it being good, but was not prepared for how my younger self had not fI picked up this book again after not reading it for quite a while. I remembered it being good, but was not prepared for how my younger self had not fully appreciated the value of this wonderful work by Charlotte Bronte. I didn't remember the slight sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek prose as Jane narrates her early years, nor the way she captivates the reader with the occasional intimate addressing of the reader herself.
Mr. Rochester's character is brilliant, and his dialogues with Jane are beautifully written. I could read their conversations for ages, which is unfortunately impossible, as they are few and far between.
I was also nearly appalled to realize how much of the book I remembered wrongly or forgotten. (Which, in the end, made it all the more interesting.) I attribute this to my less-interested self while reading the novel in high school, but truth be told, it does take a good amount of time to become immersed in Bronte's world. In the end though, its length and somewhat tedious beginning is well worth the effort.
My bookshelf will be very happy with this addition - one I plan on reading many more times in the future....more