On my Shelf for May

I’ve been pretty busy lately, but somehow I’ve accumulated several books to read. I’ve been trying to dig my way through Rachel Varble’s, A Biography of Jane Clemens, Mother of Mark Twain. It’s an interesting read, and I’m learning a lot of history. I just need several uninterrupted hours to complete it. It’s the type of book that feels like I’m “wading through” at times, due to overly romantized descriptive paragraphs and awkward phrasings. The entire book is exposition with no dialogue, so it’s like reading a textbook, laced with the author’s bias. But I’m reading it, despite her writing style, because it is about my home area. However, I often find myself frustrated at the prevailing accepted thought of the times. I suppose that in itself is a lesson in history, it’s depiction changes from one generation to the next. Mrs. Varble wrote her book back in the 1960s and her bias of race and ethnicity fill the book in a million subtle ways. So, I like the history lesson, but I’m not overly fond of her writing style. I will always feel that plain talk is easily understood and too many writers, both past and present, “put on the dog” when they write and spit about a bunch of stuff that nobody ever says in real life. And on that note…

A book I’m LOVING is Stephen King‘s On Writing. While I am not a fan of King’s fictional stories, mostly because I don’t like horror due to the fact that I have an overactive imagination that I can’t shut off and scary images keep me awake at night, I DO like his practical no non-sense look at writing and identify with so much of what he has to say in this book. I’m glad I took the time to pick it up.

Next on the pile is a book called Ill Wind, by Doug Beason and Kevin J. Anders, then comes All Together Dead by Charlane Harris, Writers Dreaming by Naomi Epel, And She Was by Cindy Dyson and finally Brandon Mull‘s Fable Haven.

In June, I plan to read Sandra Kring’s latest, A Life of Bright Ideas.

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