Friday, January 21, 2011

Variety - The spice of life!

I don’t remember myself being a very avid reader during my youth. I studied hard at school and most of my reading was probably for that reason, but I really started reading books (and enjoying it) in my twenties. I think I’ve read a good couple of hundred by now (at least). No, probably more.

During my journey I have learnt a few things about myself as a reader. I bore quickly. I don’t have just one favourite author (probably for this very reason). I enjoy a wide genre. I enjoy books written by male and female authors alike. I don’t care if you’re on the New York bestseller’s list, or whether your name is on everyone’s lips or no one I know have ever heard about you; what is the story that you have to tell? I like thick books – the thin ones are simply too short; I don’t like to start a new book every second day, plus, it ends up costing you a pretty penny if you are an eager beaver.

I went through a season of trying to read multiple books by the same authors, the first being a book titled April fool’s Day by Author Bryce Courtenay. It is a true story about Courtenay’s son, Damon, a hemophiliac who contracts AIDS with one of the blood transfusions that was supposed to save his life. He passes away on 1st April, literally April fool's day. It was an amazing, gripping and heart wrenching story. I cried half the time reading it. Bryce Courtenay is a phenomenal writer in my opinion and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another one of his books. I also read Jessica and Tandia. All of these were loaded with emotion; not a water pistol... a BAZOOKA. And all of the books ended in tragedy. It just broke my heart and after the third one I literally felt emotionally drained and depressed. I deliberately went on a hunt for the most light hearted, shallow and fun story I could find. (See! The world even needs those. *wink*) I needed to take a break and float back to the surface, not because Courtenay is a bad writer, on the contrary - just that intense. I simply get too involved.

Another one I tried was Rich Man, Poor Man and Beggar man, Thief, both by Author Irwin Shaw. One book is a sequel to the other. One word: brilliant!! A tale of two brothers growing up in the same home and yet their paths going in totally opposite directions, but even 'perfect' can be a mere deceitful illusion. I read these through the night! I cried, ranted, banged my fists, hoped and held my breath anticipating the best, but just as hope rises on the horizon, disaster strikes, and sometimes there is no second chances. I needed another distraction after this one.

Two more that I can think of is Author Jodi Picoult and Karen Kingsbury. I’ve read The Pact and My Sister’s Keeper by Picoult and Even NOW, Where yesterday lives, When Joy came to stay, On every side and Waiting for morning by Kingsbury.

The people that I have mentioned are all phenomenal writers. Yet we each have our unique style, and even though I couldn’t put the books down at the time, I did feel that I was becoming too familiar with the Author and in a way it became predictable to me. I needed a change; I need variety.

Having said this of authors who are renowned worldwide it is comforting to me to consider that people might get bored with my writing too, but it happens to the best of us. That is what makes variety so amazing! How boring it would have been had there only been a handful of authors to choose from? The same goes for the authors: who would they write for if there was only a limited audience out there? But if we mix them together we have a little bit of everything and it keeps it interesting and fun!

Thank heavens for different strokes for different folks! Each one to his own is EXACTLY what this world needs! So I’m going ahead and DOing my thing! Someone out there can’t wait!!


  1. Hi!

    If you're looking for something entirely different to read to the books you mentioned, give Jeanette Winterson a try. Her style of writing is something between fantasy, poetry, philosophy and romance... Sounds good, doesn't it? Sexing the Cherry and The Stone Gods are my two favourite books by her. I'd love to hear your opinions on them.

    Ciao (and my compliments on your writing!)

  2. Festa, I'm going with The Stone Gods - I've ordered my copy today :) Certainly sounds different to the books I've mostly read so far. I'll let you know how it goes. My order should arrive in the next week or two. Thanks for the compliment - some feedback every now again makes writing fun. I would love for more people to share their thoughts; not on the writing perse, but the topics. Who knows, maybe it will come in time. I like interacting. I'll keep you posted!

  3. Yay, I'm glad you've ordered it! It's a really inspiring book, it makes me want to write one of my own... It's quite controversial, but I guess if you want to create something unique in this day and age, controversy is the way to go - so, don't take it too seriously, lol! But enjoy ;)

  4. You're spot on, Lee, everyone is different.

  5. Cindy, finally starting to love aspects of diversity. What a joy :)

  6. Festa, lately we've been educated a lot on the modern world of tomorrow; the future and oil resources, the economy, genetically modified food & seeds, climate changes of the world... Things are not going to stay the way we know them forever. Some of these factual knowledge has made me curious about this book. I get the feeling she is going to imagine some humans (and elements alike) into the idea of a future world. It might just help me be able to imagine some things better myself :)Almost looking forward to the read, but I won't take it too seriously; promise :)

  7. The book bounces between the present, the future and ancient past... But forms a loop. But the underlying theme is still of love and finding a 'Landing place' (home), so whilst being serious about the world and consequences of our actions, you'll find parts of it really funny and 'Sci-Fi', lol! I'm afraid that when you go 'Winterson' you'll never go back, hehe, it's changed my tastes in literature quite a bit!

  8. Festa, I have to say I am actually enjoying it much more than I had imagined. I don't particularly enjoy British movies, so when I read the author to be British I wasn't sure what I would think. So far I'm pleasantly surprised though! But more than the story I am loving the wit, imaginative creativity and intelligence with which she writes. I'm about half way now :)