A writer I never heard of, a collection of short stories. What had I signed up for? Short stories are so iffy—so often they are too subtle, which translates into boring, or they try to be all artsy with an ambivalent ending.
Jane Smiley talks about novels with enthusiasm Books about books can be interesting or deadly dull, and books with one author's arbitrary list of " books I think you should read" can likewise be great when they convince you to add a few to your TBR shelf, or annoying when you find yourself saying "Come on — a list full of obscure 19th century novels most people have never heard of, but no love at all for genre fiction?
Jane Smiley talks about novels with enthusiasm and wisdom and admirable depth, but she's not exactly exciting. She's a Pulitzer-prize winning literary author and she writes with a careful, analytical style that I found very informative and knowledgeable, but she did not exactly make me want to run out and read her novels.
That said, I thought this was an excellent book and one that any serious reader should read. She decided to "go back to her roots" by reading through a bunch of novels — of them — and over the course of three years, besides writing lovely and incisive synopses and literary analyses of all of them, produced this book about what a novel is.
She also talked about how novels form society and form the mind, not just the other way around. When, during the U. Part of the reason I put it on my list was his recommendation. After I read it, I couldn't really understand what he liked about it—Julien Sorel seemed quite unlike Mr.
Gore would want to seem, a cold, ambitious opportunist who uses and betrays women, then gets into trouble with the law and is executed in the end. But at least Gore's choice was a long and serious novel. Let's not remark that this book is a tale of gluttony; let's just observe that it isn't a novel, that its choice as George W.
Bush's favorite book perhaps reflects the fact that he doesn't read, or hasn't read, any serious novels. After a hundred and more novels of all kinds and degrees of seriousness, I was well aware that the habit of reading novels molds the mind in several significant ways, ways that other forms of literature do not.
I wish that my president was reading Pride and Prejudice. Or As I Lay Dying. Or A Journal of the Plague Year. So, Jane Smiley is what you might call one o' them elitist lib'rul intellectual types.
More power to her — while her literary tastes aren't exactly the same as mine there is a hint of snootiness in her studious avoidance of much of anything that smacks of pop fiction, though of course some of the books she mentions were bestsellers because they were great booksher point is well taken, and one I wish more people took seriously.
Not that a Presidential candidate's choice in reading is necessarily a litmus test for fitness of office, but you do have to kind of wonder about someone who hasn't read an actual book since high school. Which unfortunately describes most of American society. The first half of the book is all about novels as novels, and novelists.
Aspects of the novel you've probably never consciously thought about before unless you're a literature major, like types of discourse and questions novels ask about society and what novels say about society as social documents and so on.
If this sounds kind of dull, it's not, actually, if you are a true lover of literature. I'd call this book a "biography of the novel," if you consider the novel a historical character with a history going back depending on how you reckon it years or a thousand.
In the second half of the book, Smiley summarizes and talks about the novels she read to overcome her writer's block. It's not really fair for me to describe this as a recommendations list, because she doesn't actually claim they are the best books ever, nor are they her favorite books in fact, several of them she says outright she didn't like.
She chose each one because she thought it had an important place in the novelistic landscape, either because it was historically important, or because it was the greatest example of a certain type of novel, or because it was so influential on so many subsequent novelists, etc.
If like me you read a lot but sometimes have trouble saying much more about a book than whether or not you liked it, you will envy Smiley's ability to tease apart every little detail about a novel's structure, pacing, prose, themes, characterization, and then to put it in a historical and literary context and talk a little bit about the author.13 Ways Of Looking.
By Elizabeth Sampson / 28 Feb / No Comments. But dispite the warmth and the rays. Nobody gets tired of summer days. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Tear. Georgia C. Starting at the beginning. That very scary place. Where no one wants to be. Causes the tears. Looking at 13 Ways Your Eyes Reflect Your Overall Health.
By: Jeff Hayward on Friday, February 16th View All On One Page (1 of 13) Tweet. Pin It. They say our eyes are the windows to our soul, but they can also be the windows to more serious health problems, if you know how to look for them.
13 Ways to Protect Your Eyes and Maintain Eye.
Looking at 13 Ways Your Eyes Reflect Your Overall Health. By: Jeff Hayward on Friday, February 16th View All On One Page (2 of 13) Tweet. Pin It. 2. Bugging Out. CBS News notes that “bug eyes” – when your eyes are wide open and bulging – might point to Grave’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland. Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Wallace Stevens. I Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the blackbird. II I was of three minds, Like a tree In which there are three blackbirds. III The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
13 Ways of Looking at the Sun. Michelle S. 1. Sometimes shy Hiding in the clouds. 2.
Sometimes vivd, bright and loud. 3. Some days its mean and shy. Some days its kind and warm. 4. Helping things grow. Melting the snow. 5. Forcing the winter to run away.
But making it warm and nice to play. 6. May 28, · One thought on “ 13 Ways of Looking at a Doohickey ” Joshua Glenn on May 28, at am said: I should point out that the second adjustment operation did not affect the All-Time Top 25 All Time rankings compiled by Rob earlier this week.
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. Looking at 13 Ways Your Eyes Reflect Your Overall Health.
By: Jeff Hayward on Friday, February 16th View All On One Page (13 of 13) Tweet. Pin It. Losing Sight of Lenses 13 Ways to Protect Your Eyes and Maintain Eye Health.
Eyeing 13 Myths and Facts about Vision Health.