The challenge for today is to choose my favorite writer. I prefer the word author to describe those who pen books, but we’ll go with writer for the sake of the challenge. I’m really stalling here because “favorite” is a scary word. I can’t choose just one favorite because there are authors that I like some of their books but not all, and it always depends on my mood. For example, I like C.S. Lewis for his thoughtfulness. John Steinbeck is good for real characters. Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut are good for extended metaphors and allegories. Jane Austen is good for some predictable romance. Ted Dekker provides a thrill. The list could go on and on, but you get the point. My “favorite” author depends on my current needs and desires. Today, I’m thinking solely of the books I have on my bookshelves, which if you’re wondering are organized by genre/time period and author as well as books I have read and want to read. Based on those books alone, it would appear that Jodi Piccoult is my favorite author because I have so many of her books. They take up an entire shelf on my smaller bookshelf. Piccoult writes real-life dramas usually involving mystery or court cases in some way. Her books are well-researched and well-written. She tends to follow a specific writing style in which she alternates between various perspectives in each chapter. Sometimes it takes me a while to discover how the characters connect to one another. The books are a quick but intense read, and typically I can re-read them after some time because I forget how the story plays out.
Speaking of Jodi Piccoult, the next challenge is a book that was turned into a movie but completely desecrated. Can I just pause here to say what a wonderful word “desecrated” is? It might be used a bit out of context here. I suppose if I was to answer the prompt in a way that reflects the sacredness this word connotes I would have to choose a movie based on a book of the Bible. I’m going to take the word more loosely though and stick with the theme of this post to say that Jodi Piccoult’s My Sister’s Keeper was completely ruined by the movie industry. I remember being so very excited when the movie was released. We were reading it in my creative writing class at the Governor’s Scholar Program during the summer before my senior year of high school. After convincing the teacher to schedule a field trip, we left the movie theater disappointed that the book wasn’t respected. They changed the entire ending! I completely understand taking out scenes, adding characters, or even re-ordering scenes, but it’s just wrong to change an ending to a book. The story was perfectly fine as it was written in the book. Why change it?
I’m going to shift gears with this blog for a while. I may still post about my thoughts on what I’m reading in the Bible, but I’m going to start trying to make a review of every book I read. If you’re wondering, I read mainly Christian non-fiction, classics, and some more modern fiction. Most of what I read would be classified as literary, meaning it is written for the purpose of style and not just popular consumption. My favorite authors include Charlotte Bronte, Barbara Kingsolver, and John Steinbeck. I also really enjoy the more popular-consumption author, Jodi Picoult, but I will argue that even though her books are closer to quick-reads she employs some fascinating literary strategies. (Maybe I’m just a book snob.) I have most recently finished reading The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult), Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers), and The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed (Lee Smith). On my “To Read” list are A Parchment of Leaves (Silas House), A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving), and The Wasteland (T.S. Eliot).
If you want to get a feel for my review style, check out any post on here in the category “Blogging for Books.” I already currently make posts for books that I receive for review from this company.
A while back, I decided to make a “bucket list” for myself, although I simply call it “Life Goals.” I haven’t shared all of these goals with people for fear that I will fail at them, but today I succeeded with one. One of my goals was to read an entire book in a library. My stipulation was that it couldn’t be the school library, because while that is a great library it’s too easy to stay there for hours. Instead, I had in my mind that I wanted to do this in a public library. Now that’s a hard task for me because I don’t really have much time to spend hours sitting in the library reading a book. Today though, I found the time while waiting to get back into my dorm.
I chose John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, because I have enjoyed Steinbeck novels in the past and it was fairly short. I knew I had about 2.5 hours because I wanted it to be in one sitting. The book is only 100 pages, but it is a book. Success!
It feels good to check things off my list.
It is a very disjointed book, but I understand more now that I know it was published in separate sections in a magazine originally. I appreciate the simplicity of the novella though. It beautifully expresses the innocence of the young boy, Jody, who comes to learn of the world throughout this book. The book is split into four separate stories that happen within a short span of Jody’s adolescence and that teach him about life and people. He learns what it means to lose a loved one, how to treat people, and how to grow up. All in all, it’s a beautiful glimpse into the life of this boy.