Allison's Book Bag

Musings Meme: Current Reads

Posted on: February 20, 2013

MusingMondaysWhat are you reading right now?
What do you think of it?
Why did you chose it?

Among other things, Musing Mondays asks one to discuss one’s current read. Initially, I didn’t think I’d ever answer this question in a meme because, well, I talk about my current read every week in a review.

However, considering that question further, I’ve decided there are books which deserve comment but I will not review at Allison’s Book Bag for a couple of reasons. First, they aren’t books specifically aimed at young people. Second, even if they are for youth, their appeal is too limited for me to write a full review.

Cover of "Word Painting: A Guide to Write...

Cover via Amazon

Let’s consider those books which aren’t aimed specifically at young people. After I participating in National Novel Writing Month I bought some writing guide books. Unless I were to find out that those books are being used in a creative writing class in high school, the guides don’t quality as books for young people. Yet many writers find them useful. So, let me mention the two which I’ve been working through since January:

  • Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood requires one to explore practically every emotion imaginable by activities such as finding synonyms or antonyms for them, listing cliches and rewriting them, describing them in terms of physical reactions, etc.
  • Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan has changed the way I think of description. Some days, I find myself writing word poems, creating similes and metaphors based on character contradictions, and describing settings in terms of every sense except visual. Other days, I find myself portraying an ugly object as a beautiful one, writing advertisements for clothes, or depicting a room from different positions.

As for the books with limited appeal, I’m not sure yet what those will be. I thought I had a contender. My husband recently gave me a book about Degrassi–one of my favorite television shows from my teens. Whenever I have a spare moment, I’ve been reading a chapter in it. Because it’s about an older show, I didn’t think it would be suitable to review. Then I discovered that a new television installment, Degrassi: The Next Generation, has been in production since 2001. So, I might just end up posting a regular review of it. 🙂

What is your current read?

6 Responses to "Musings Meme: Current Reads"

Most of the books I love, I fell in love with during my childhood — especially my teen years. There were my two favorite books, Alive and To Kill a Mockingbird. And then there were the Nero Wolfe books, by Rex Stout, which I’ve just begun rereading after having mostly neglected them for the past twenty years.

Camping trips are a great time to discover new books. Apparently. That’s when I discovered Alive, and that’s when I discovered Nero Wolfe. It’s easy to become bored on a camping trip, you see. And then you spy a book left lying around by one of your parents, and because you’re desperate you pick it up and dig in.

That’s how I came to pick up Some Buried Caesar, the sixth Nero Wolfe novel — and an atypical one at that. Nero Wolfe, a private detective, is a bit of an eccentric, you see. He’s basically a recluse, who solves crimes by sending his sidekick Archie into the world to bring back clues, witnesses, and suspects. Yet in Some Buried Caesar, Nero Wolfe has dared to leave the comfort of his Manhattan brownstone for the purpose of showing orchids at an upstate exposition. Thanks to a car accident along the way, Wolfe and Archie obtain room and board in exchange for Archie’s services guarding a prize bull. During his watch, Archie discovers the body of the neighbor, who has been gored to death. Everyone thinks the death was an accident, except Nero Wolfe.

I love Wolfe’s eccentricities. Nero Wolfe’s three great loves are: orchids, beer, and food. I also love his mind, his pomposity, his irritability.

And then there’s Archie. Archie is not a sidekick in the way that Dr. Watson is a sidekick to Holmes. Archie does not exist merely to record Wolfe’s exploits; Archie would be a suitable lead character in his own series. Where Wolfe is serious and logical, Archie is a wisecracking man of action. The two characters provide the perfect mix of the old and the new — Sherlock Holmes meets Sam Spade. Some of the best moments in the series are when Archie and Wolfe trade jabs.

As I mentioned, I have just started to reread the Wolfe books. I have been accumulating the novels from library sales over the past few years; they have waited patiently on my shelves, unread. I wanted to read them in order; not that order matters — Wolfe and Archie never change or age — but it’s how I wanted to read the series, and that meant having all of the novels before I began.

And so, having received the remaining eight books for Valentine’s Day from my loving wife, it was time to take up with Wolfe and Archie once again; just yesterday I cracked open Fer-De-Lance, the first book in the series.

The entire set of seventy-three stories stretches before me. What a great place to be.

I have read Alive and To Kill A Mockingbird. One day I’ll need to read the Nero Wolfe set. For this upcoming week though, I look forward to reading one of the growing pile of books my beloved husband has recommended to me. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

Just stopped by your musing to say hello. Here’s what I’m reading:

Thanks for the visit! Tolstoy is one of those authors whose books I might just know through movies. 🙂

Sorry to hear that Boyd’s book didn’t meet with all your expectations. The title interested me, because I also like to read about the problem of evil.

I’ll look forward to your response to my review of The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. It contains Astrid Lindgren’s three novels about Pippi. If you haven’t been following my biographical teasers about her, you might find them of interest.

I’m currently reading Dr. H. Ballentyne Carter’s The Whole Prostate Book. It seems to me to be an authoritative account of what a man should know about maintaining prostate health. I’m reading it because it’s a new book at our library and I had prostate problems before having my prostate cleaned out.

I just finished reading Gregory A. Boyd’s Satan and the Problem of Evil. I was impressed by its account of the ongoing war between God and Satan but was not convinced by its thesis that Satan is responsible for all natural evil. I bought and read it because it’s on the problem of evil, which is a topic of interest to me, and it’s by a leading exponent of open theism, which I have a blog on.

I’m about to reread Astrid Lindgren’s three novels about Pippi Longstocking. I like them well enough to have read Pippi Longstocking to at least one of my grade five classes when I was teaching. I’m going to reread them so that I can comment on your forthcoming post about them.

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