Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Coffee: Still Reading Cormac McCarthy....and other readerly confessions

One of the greatest pleasures of my life is to simply become completely absorbed in a book--preferably a classic book, or a book that combines artistry and story and meaning in a way that completely engages every cell of my brain. My long slow read of Our Mutual Friend provided that perfect level of engagement, and I'm finding it with Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy too.

This is another slow read for me; while I finished All the Pretty Horses in little more than a day, The Crossing took me much longer to read, and Cities of the Plain is taking just as long. As I read I stop to underline sentences that leave me gobsmacked with admiration. If I can just get a stretch of uninterrupted reading time, I will finish this trilogy and review it. McCarthy is not a writer whose work lends itself to distracted reading. I really like to be able to give his books my undivided attention.

In other reading news, I'm just sort of jumping around from book to book, which is pretty uncharacteristic for me. I generally like to finish off one book at a time. But I've been dipping into several books at once, rather than focusing on any single book. For my creative writing classes I've been doing reading and research on the writing of fiction...here's a partial list of books I've looked into:  The Making of a Story by Alice La Plante, Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway, and The Lie That Tells a Truth by John Dufresne. And in between I've been reading The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood....

Also on my list is Lolita---two of my students have recently read Nabokov's novel, and I need to catch up with them! I want to be able to discuss the novel with these smart kids!


Ashley said...

My thesis director is teaching a class called "Story Writing" this semester, and one of the books she required was "Writing Alone and with Others" by Pat Schneider and Peter Elbow. It's supposed to be really good! And it's inexpensive to buy.

Lisa said...

I've never read any McCarthy but my son loves his work. Sounds like I need to borrow a book or two from him and finally give Cormac some time.

Ryan said...

I have been putting Lolita off for years as well. It's high time I corrected my omission.