Monday, May 12, 2008

My Favorite Book

I'm not sure what happened to this slow reader recently, but I've fallen a pattern of reading my old favorites again. With so many books yet to be read and me such a slow reader, I feel a little conflicted, yet it's been good. I finished rereading Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood a couple of weeks ago. I read it the first time when it was new fiction and gave a copy to my running partner for her birthday. We were taking a writing class together at the time and she rued that someone had already written her story. I'm thinking that Annie Proulx's Shipping News is going to be a future reread. Lee says she is getting ready to reread The Great Gatsby, another book that I'd like to revisit.

However, today at lunch I finished reading Angle of Repose for the third time. I bought a copy at the Dog Eared Bookstore on Valencia Street and have been marking the heck out it. I bought a copy and Ian bought another copy which he gave to Sharon's husband. Michael's a reader and Ian wanted him to have a copy of my favorite book. It is still my favorite book. If this isn't the perfect novel, will someone please tell me what is?! It's the two parallel stories, both powerful and playing off of each other, that make my jaw drop. The last paragraph is so powerful, but only in context of the whole story. I confess that the first time I read it, I devoured it in a matter of a couple of sittings, but I also had a crush on Oliver - maybe I still do. Outside of the Bible, I think this is *the* story of forgiveness, lack of forgiveness and power of redemption. Will I read it again? Probably.

On creativity, if you haven't caught it, Google sponsored a contest for children to submit art to be used as one of their creative logos, like Earth Day and Mother's Day. They asked children to submit art, themed around "what if" and provided teachers with teaching unit guides across a number of disciplines so all children would be included. Submissions are divided into four age categories. If you have time, I hope you'll click on the link to see what the kids have done. You can vote on their submissions until May 22nd.


Kathy said...

I am so glad to know I'm not the only "Slow Reader" around. I have a stack of books I'm trying to work through - everything from sheep and knitting to a couple of best sellers. I used to read alot more than I do now. I find that we are so visually oriented today that I need to make time to actually sit down somewhere and hold a book to read.
Thanks for reminding me to get back to my stack. ;)

Lee said...

Angle of Repose is on my proverbial nightstand (really a teetering stack on the floor) -- I read it many years ago and enjoyed it very much. After both you and Valerie mentioned it in the book meme I thought it was time for a re-read, but haven't gotten there yet.

Sara said...

Ah, required reading for locals, since it is partially set in Grass Valley.

There is a play by local author Sands Hall, called Fair Use, on the extensive borrowing Stegner did from a local woman's diaries:

Birdsong said...

I do so love this book, even though I have heard the rumor that he stole the idea from the female writer his main character is based upon (Sara's note refers to her)... he touches so well on the limited options available to women in that period, even when they have to support the whole family. I am sure I will re-read this again, though it was a slow read for me too. Many novels are much faster, hmm.

Catzee said...

Iffen my mom reads anyfing I like to sleep in her lap.

Valerie said...

Sharon, how could you distract me like this right now?! I went to the library yesterday and picked up their only (soft cover!!?) edition of Angle of Repose. Sat down to treat myself to a half hour read. Even in that short spell, I have now decided that I need my own copy again, because I want to "mark it up".

So, turn about is fair play in terms of distracting one another: You must now answer Birdsong in a post and tell all about the book of memoirs that you shared with me a few months ago. I did get a copy through interlibrary loan and read through it. IMO Wally didn't plagiarize...he used her memoirs as source material for fiction as part of a parallel story. But the essence of the writing is his own.

BTW...have you read any Ivan Doig? (have I asked you that?) I recommend _This House of Sky_.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Wow, I looked at some of those pictures, wow! Some great talent and ideas!

Jodi said...

Thanks for the book recommendation! I went ahead and ordered it right away.

Tina T-P said...

My read of the month is, I hate to say it, Nora Roberts most recent novel - but I have several others that I'm working on too - one on crows & ravens and a couple of cook books and a couple of Crochet books -

I got brave and just started hand carding some dyed locks that I bought at BSG a couple of years ago- OMG it is like working with fluffy colored clouds - what fun!