I loved this book. My friend Paige bought it for me and I had never herd of Dr. Paul Farmer. Fortunately, I was working for a microbiologist at the ti...moreI loved this book. My friend Paige bought it for me and I had never herd of Dr. Paul Farmer. Fortunately, I was working for a microbiologist at the time and asked him about Farmer. He knew him and had been to conferences with him as well as symposiums. He has heard him speak. His opinion of his was limited but knowing Farmer through my boss made me feel more intimate with his character and his mission to help with the AIDS epidemic. The story is wonderful and inspiring. I believe that the technicalities of his occupation and mission are put in layman's terms. Its an incredible read and one of my favorites.(less)
Amazing! "On Writing" is very real and straightforward. King says at the outset that he wants to be brief and compared to his fictional novels, he acc...moreAmazing! "On Writing" is very real and straightforward. King says at the outset that he wants to be brief and compared to his fictional novels, he accomplishes this goal.
I was drawn particularly to the honesty and breadth of information (pros and cons). He finds the balance right before the reader's eyes. Getting to know King is fun and interesting. King's experiences are indelible and powerful insight into the world of a writer. He exposes much of his struggles and triumphs.
The reader certainly understands and feels his love for the craft, regardless of its pitfalls and challenges. The biggest struggle it seems is how he came to write and how he struggled to finish "On Writing". It wasn't easy and he does a superb job at describing what it took to complete his first non-fiction.
King's perseverance is inspiring and his encouragement, though awash with sad truths about any writer's reality, is enough to make one want to write until their fingers hurt.
I got so much out of this book, more than out of any creative writing class I ever took; he even explains why students in any writing class fall victim to the machine. Here's some of my notes - little tid-bits to remember:
1. "Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around." (101)
2. Toolbox (remember their function, vocab is plain and direct, grammar, Warriner's English Grammar and Composition, no passive voice, paragraph is the basic unit of writing (134), lots of practice (135), read a lot and write a lot (145), start small by writing about 1,000 words a day).
3. Narrative, Description (tricky, find the happy medium, just a few details are needed, make them count and stand for everything else), Dialogue
4. Situation-focused rather than stuck in the plot.
5. Tell the truth.
6. Theme - stand back and ask what is the book about?
7. I.R. (Ideal Reader - just one)
8. Three months to write a first draft. Two more drafts and a polish.
9. 1st Draft - 10% = 2nd Draft
10. Keep moving forward. Backstory is boring so limit it.
11. Take six months off, write in between (short-stories, etc.) then return to edit.
I thought this book was amazing and the reason being is that the story is so believable. While reading it I was inspired to begin writing my own book...moreI thought this book was amazing and the reason being is that the story is so believable. While reading it I was inspired to begin writing my own book based on a very similar story I have in my mind and have experienced in my life. Abbey is a wonderful author. I believe that Abbey did a great job at recreating the emotions involved with a true love affair.
Some scenes are not appropriate for the sexually inexperienced person or love-deprived because the depth of the writing is discovered through reliving such acts that have happened in one's own life. Abbey brings the reader to an emotional point that not many people, I feel, can deeply respect. The wildness of this story reigns true to the wildness of every one's heart. Abbey just had the guts to explore it and make it real on the page. (less)
This is one of my favorite adventure books of all time, from the perspective of stuffed animals. My second grade teacher read this book to my class a...moreThis is one of my favorite adventure books of all time, from the perspective of stuffed animals. My second grade teacher read this book to my class a little every day and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I own it and just love the somewhat spooky illustrations and the story. Gosh, I can't remember the last time I read it though. Time to dust it off and put it on my coffee table for some light reading.(less)
**spoiler alert** This is an excellent book. As is written on the back page, "Be warned: once you enter, you'll be Emma Donoghue's willing prisoner ri...more**spoiler alert** This is an excellent book. As is written on the back page, "Be warned: once you enter, you'll be Emma Donoghue's willing prisoner right down to the last page," so it was for me. I was drawn in to the story no matter how bleak it got or seemed to be. It really wasn't that bleak considering the plot. I was very impressed with the consistent point of view and even laughed at Jack's perspective and observations. He's a smart and observant kid and see life and the world as no otehr has seen it before. This book is revealing, sensitive, and eye-opening. I loved the relationship that Jack and his Ma have. I appreciate how the Donoghue didn't end the book with the rescue, but rather continues the narrative to a satisfying point and a rewarding ending rather than the trite beginning and end. Very cleverly written and fascinatingly addicting.(less)
**spoiler alert** I really liked this compilation of London's short stories. They are the first I've read and they just shocked me. I love his style a...more**spoiler alert** I really liked this compilation of London's short stories. They are the first I've read and they just shocked me. I love his style and the way he can create anticipation. The energy in these stories is never-ending, meaning that the characters are full of life (that is until they die). They seem to live short and furiously. There's a lot of death and turn of events in these stories. There's great build up to the final events which is nerve-racking at times. I just think these stories are great. I especially liked 'War." The reason is the drab descriptions turned into amazing, vivid, and colorful images, by the end. The image of the apples being released from the soldier's makeshift bag out of his shirt, and all against his dead body, is beautifully morose. London has a way with conjuring and accelerating pace with words - just incredible. The way he portrays despair in life and the reality of death rather than contrived fiction. Never read any one else that does it like he does. In other words, he starts off slow and the pace crescendos into an unforgettable finale. The sum of its parts is amazing and memorable.(less)
This is a wonderfully succinct book. The information given inspires and encourages one to make better with their Soul, Personality, Emotions, and Phys...moreThis is a wonderfully succinct book. The information given inspires and encourages one to make better with their Soul, Personality, Emotions, and Physical self. Very helpful.(less)
Really enjoyed this book from front to back. One of my favorite moments was on page fifty-eight, line 7, "Yes, i had grown up a sheltered girl with a...moreReally enjoyed this book from front to back. One of my favorite moments was on page fifty-eight, line 7, "Yes, i had grown up a sheltered girl with a love for animals and ballet, but now I was chasing wild animals and spitting in my food." This I relate to because its like my own transformation from professional ballet dancer to living in the Colorado Mountains in a small cabin with a wood burner and animals galore. I'm like a farm girl now and love the transformation and transition of Mireya's life, just like my own. This book is inspiring and truly a raw experience for the not-so-faint of heart. (less)
I love, love, love this book. I couldn't believe the thrills, tortures, and triumphs that Louie Zamperini went through, and not to forget all the othe...moreI love, love, love this book. I couldn't believe the thrills, tortures, and triumphs that Louie Zamperini went through, and not to forget all the other men of WWII. What an amazing and harrowing time in American/Japanese history. I really never knew the extent of it all. History books and school classes on the subject just don't portray the atrocities and issues like this book did. I think all history classes, when they get to this time period, should be required to read "Unbroken." There's depth of content that could never be expressed as thoroughly as Hillenbrand discusses. There's nihilism, Japanese culture, American values, and the human condition and will to survive. How do you capture that? Well this book does. Zamperini even said that this book tells of things that he didn't even know happened, not only in his own life, but in general, the war itself. I would recommend this book to everyone and I can't believe that I am just discovering it now, three years after it was published. Yes, it's going to be made into a book, and yes, I'm weary. It'll be released this December. We'll see, but go read it first before you see the movie.(less)