Fresh list … fresh TBR stack … how I’m gonna “jumpstart” some fresh writing

January 9, 2009 § 6 Comments

I’ve paged and thrummed through a dozen back issues of GRANTA.
I’ve pored over my bookshelves for the ones I haven’t read yet.
This is what I’ve got in search of some “fresh” writing that I suspect could give me a new perspective and have me dusting off my own cobwebs, styles and cliches.

In the next few days, I will find the following and make a short stack of ’em for my January reads. Meanwhile, Nicholas Nickleby and Snobs will indeed get finished as well. (I’m surprised to find that Snobs by Julian Fellowes is so good. Maybe it’s my mood. It is NOT a page turner. But more on this book when it’s done.)

Creating a new find-and-force-myself-to-read-outside-my-comfort-zone bookstack:

THE PICKUP – by Nadine Gordimer  (fiction)
…an author whom I have always intended to read and this is apparently her most recent work. Besides, it’s time to get out of comfortable settings and into Africa.

ST. LUCY’S HOME FOR GIRLS RAISED BY WOLVES by Karen Russell (fiction- short story collection)
…I read the title story in Granta and was amazed. It struck me as completely unique in terms of voice and also story/subject matter. I can’t believe I’d forgotten about it and her complete story collection has been out since 2006! If you haven’t read the short story (title above), ya’ gotta get your hands on it. You may not love it, but you will read the whole thing, just to see …

AKENFIELD by Ronald Blythe  (non-fiction)
… “a rich and perceptive portrait of life in an English village told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves” (Granta, vol. 90)  The diary, basically, of an area. A great idea. And I have a copy of it, in paperback, old and dog-eared from an old friend. Which makes it all the more dear.

Also to jump my writing, some “photo” books by several who have published in Granta …
look for stuff by Stephen Gill … Postcards from Britain 
look for stuff by Susan Meiselas … Prince Street Girls
look for more stuff by Robin Grierson … FamilyIf you have read any of the above, please let me know your thoughts on them. Oh yes, I am looking to get/firing up some fresh writing!


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§ 6 Responses to Fresh list … fresh TBR stack … how I’m gonna “jumpstart” some fresh writing

  • jeanie says:

    Wow! There is a LOT to mull in this one! Like you, I’m gearing up for a winter of reading. I haven’t organized my pile yet, and I expect it to grow more when my friend Suzanne and I do Christmas in another couple of weeks! But you’ve spoken so highly of SNOBS, I can’t wait to add that to the list!

    Now, off to your WOW post!

  • anno says:

    These sound wonderful, and, no, I haven’t read any of them. You are inspiring me to look at Granta again; it’s been a while.

  • oh says:

    Jeanie, Maybe we should have asked Santa for either another nightstand OR some more bookshelves!

    Anno – I was surprised to see how many things in GRANTA I had NOT read, but I am actually thinking about taking a day off and staying home to read and to wander around the house and just “do” stuff. Yes, look at some GRANTAs. They really age well, too.

  • I was thinking of sorting out my book pile too. In my non fiction reading definitely a focus on linguistics at the minute.

    I’ve never really got into Nadine Gordimer, i don’t know why. I hope you enjoy her book…

  • floreta says:

    oh yes, i love granta! i can tell just from reading your blog that you have good book recommendations so i will check those out, thanks.

  • oh says:

    CGP – The Gordimer book I wanted was NOT at the bookstore (had to order). Same was true of the Karen Russell collection. Sheesh.

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