Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding Weekend Reading from One Book

I got to page 256 of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins before I quit. I liked Robbins' strong storytelling, but couldn't stand how she beats the reader over the head with the same facts already discussed 50 times in previous chapters. I guess she, or her publisher, must be of the mindset that the denser the arguments, the more important they must be. It didn't help this book.

Because it's Friday, I decided to pick my next book at random. Except for my stacks of presidential books in the living room, and my Las Vegas and bedside stacks in my room (The latter full of books I want to read right away, with "right away" always a relative term, but as long as they're there, always reminding me of that, then there's a chance I'll get to them soon enough), no other stacks of books have any particular order. Completely random, some having been constructed based on when I got them in the mail, or that I put them at the top of one stack because I wanted to read them right away, but then they got lower in that particular stack.

On top of one stack pressed against a Disney-themed comforter still in the sturdy plastic packaging, I noticed Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine. I had put The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth in the Goodwill box, I wasn't ready to continue FDR by Jean Edward Smith, and it being Friday, some randomness not only could be part of Friday being a free-feeling sort of day, but could shake out the cobwebs in my writing. Treasure Island!!! it was.

I'm still surprised at what I've read so far. It's about a college graduate with an English major who doesn't have much of a future in any avenue of her life, who works at The Pet Library, which loans out pets for a certain period of time, who reads Treasure Island and decides that her life should have that kind of adventure, that daring, that swashbuckling, even. She's foolish, self-centered, mostly oblivious to the feelings of others, but what a character to have in a novel! Imagine Sarah Silverman, but with only a tiny sliver more tact. I've got a little less than halfway to go, and I'm already wondering when Sara Levine's next novel will be out. She writes like I would like to all the time, with boldness and fearlessness that never lets up. It can be done, I think, but Levine makes that work. It's about boldness and fearlessness in service to her characters and she does it so well.

I read the back flap of the book, about who Levine is, and amidst so many other credits that should merit her many more book deals because her writing's so good, I found out that her writing was featured in The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present. Since I will be working in nonfiction for years to come, I also want to read as much of it as possible and that title sounded interesting.

I looked it up on Amazon, and the cover looked familiar. I went to my room, to the second shelf under the top of my nightstand, and found it. I think I bought this when I was considering writing a journalistic novel that took place in one day at a theme park. It turned out to be far too ambitious for me then, but I kept the books I had bought as research/inspiration, and this was one of them. There are essays in it, memoirs, and journalism, and I think I've found my weekend reading. I'll use this as a segue back into my research full-force. I had a dream last night about interviewing George Kennedy for my book, and I came up with questions I hadn't even thought of while awake. It's time to get back to work, and this book will certainly prime the pump, after I'm done with Treasure Island!!!

1 comment:

  1. Rory, You are bold and fearless.

    Janie, who wants to be an Aronsky