Friday, August 13, 2004

I just got an email from the library, and Neil Peart's new book, Ghost Rider is waiting for me via Inter-Library Loan request. ILL has got to be one of the greatest inventions since, well, the library. Wait, it's Friday, isn't it? Shoot! I wish they stayed open long enough for me to get there after work. The book was nominated for the biography category of the Great Literary Award

The book chronicles both a physical journey and a psychological one; the author responded to a series of family tragedies with a motorcycle trip across North America. (I guess there are as many ways to grieve as there are people who need to.)

Peart is also the drummer of Canadian progressive rock band Rush

Also on my plate this week:

Fear of Flying ~ Erica Jong This is a classic of the feminist sexual revolution, but aside from its value as cultural ommentary, it's a warm, wise, canny novel. I'll post a blurb later, but one thing I noticed was Jong's Isadora physically objectifying men in her very own, microscope-viewfinder kind of way. It's a device, of course. But it's well-used and I caught her at it, which delighted me endlessly.

Thunder and Lightening ~ Natalie Goldberg This book found its way onto my desk this week, just as I was beginning to contemplate starting a novel (and hyperventillating.) I first read Goldberg when I was about seventeen, when a friend recommended Writing Down the Bones. Goldberg was both alien (a Jewish New Yorker, Living in Taos, who practices Zen) and famlliar (Went to college at U of M, swooned over english poetry, seemed afraid of people, wanted desperately to be a writer, marked the passage of time by chocolate) She gave me the idea that maybe I was OK, that I just hadn't arrived yet. I've read that book and her others again and again, relishing the ways we are different and the ways we're alike, taking her triumphs as rocket boosts to get me moving toward my own goals. With Thunder and Lightening she's giving me clues to the process and experience of not just writing, but writing 'something.' This is gotta-have-it stuff for me, and I think, anybody who wants to write.

1 comment:

Milton Drepaul said...

Hey I found Natalie's Writig Down tHe Bones very useful.
Am trying out a software program called New Novelist.
It's intriguing. Got me going so far.
Good Luck!