I had to put many of my short story writing on hold due to my attempt to finish my novel. Most of the work I have posted here are just the ideas for stories things that I hope to one day flesh out and turn into real work. Even though I didn’t write much new work in 2010, I did read quite a bit and I’d like to post my reading list from 2010- it isn’t long, I am not a quick reader.
Novels: Jane Eyre, The Grapes of Wrath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Road.
Compared to some readers this is a pathetic list, but for me getting through Jane Eyre could have been my entire reading for the year. It took me to the end to suddenly fall in love with the book, and I am glad that I went through the work to finish it so I could get pissed off at the characters at the end. I enjoy feeling invested in the characters. Speaking of Characters, The Grapes of Wrath was amazing, and so believable. I felt like I knew these people and I began thinking and sometimes speaking in their dialect. I understood the power of the last line in the novel but I think my late 21st century mind is too cynical and sarcastic to not have that “gross” reaction. Sometimes the century gets in the way. The Road was bleak. Engrossing and engaging, beautifully written, wonderful characters, sensitive and emotional, but bleak. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is now one of my favorite books. I loved it I can’t say more. And To Kill a Mockingbird is a re-read, and a favorite.
I have picked up and put down these books in 2010, and I will pick them up again, I’m certain: Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchet. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem, and Ulysess, by Joyce. I’ve been reading the Canterbury Tales and I have really been enjoying them and I also feel they are a good segue into short stories.
I read a lot of great short stories in 2010:
Metamorphis, by Kafka, The River of Names by Dorthy Allison, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe, A Rose for Emily by Faulkner, The Dead by Joyce, and I read a story by Michael Cera called Pinecone- it was entertaining. I also picked up and have read a few of David Foster Wallace’s essays from Consider the Lobster: Big Red Son, Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think, Some Remarks on Kafka’s Funniness from Which Probably Not Enough Has Been Removed, The View from Mrs. Thompson’s, and How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart.
I hope this year 2011, I will finish my novel and find a publisher, but finishing it would be great. I hope to increase my reading list and improve on my own writing.