I like that one of them is reading “Ranch Romances”
I recently downloaded Pocket (formerly known as Read It Later) so I could save online articles to my phone and read them when I don’t have access to the Internet. I love Pocket — my only complaint is that it was difficult to set up the bookmarklets on all the browsers across my devices.
The reading interface on Pocket is super attractive. I always found Evernote to be less than appealing on the eyes and it discouraged me from using it. Plus, it used to crash my IPhone Ancient (formerly known as 3GS).
I recently read The New York Times Magazine article on the famous spy author John LeCarre. He’s been writing spy novels since the 1950′s under the name LeCarre. The pseudonym was necessary because he was working for MI5. His cover was unfortunately blown but he’s still writing! Nowadays, he’s voicing his opinion on everything including the monarchy.
And then there is the drama of Drunk Mom. A daring mother writes a revealing tell all about her experience raising a baby as an alcoholic. A lot of critics are saying that she’s sharing too much, the stories are overly graphic and she seems to show little remorse.
Do you plan on reading Drunk Mom? And what do you use to read articles offline?
Summing up Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for a Time Being is going to be hard but here goes…
Maybe it was the gorgeous weather outside but I spent a lot of time reading this one. I wanted to savour every word because Ozeki’s writing isn’t just beautiful, it’s quirky and it throws you through loops when you least expect it.
A Tale for a Time Being starts off with Ruth, a British Columbian islander, finding a washed up diary and wristwatch on the beach. She speculates that it could have been debris washed away by the tsunami. Ruth wasn’t always from the islands — at least not these ones. She was once a writer from New York but she’d long been suffering from writer’s block.
The novel alternates between Ruth and the diary which was written by a young girl in Japan named Nao. The girl writes about being tormented for being an outsider and about her Buddhist nun grandmother. I found myself trying to read ahead during Ruth’s chapters to know what Nao does next.
Ruth’s world is all cats, forests and freethinking island residents while Nao’s world is skyscrapers, suicide and really scary schoolgirls. Ruth’s chapters seem typical of Canadian literature until things get really strange towards the end. That trippy time traveling stuff had me scratching my head.
It’s hard for me to compare A Tale for a Time Being to another book because I’ve never read anything quite like it. I especially admire Ozeki’s ability to capture Nao’s frustration and her sense of curiosity as a teenager.
A Tale for a Time Being truly is a trip between time and space but reminds us that we spend so much time chasing Now, we forget that it’s so no so different from Then.
Photo credits: silenceondecore-blog.com, freespiritspheres.com, somewhereintheworldtoday.tumblr.com
Thank you to Soho Press for sending me a copy of Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See in exchange for an honest review.
I picked up Too Bright To Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey because it was described as a “brilliant look into mental illness” but I felt like it wasn’t so much about mental health as it was about the antics of a Hollywood exec losing control.
Greyson Todd is a studio exec that represents some of the most famous celebs in Hollywood. But between holding the hands of unstable celebrities, Todd can barely keep it together for his own family. His bipolar disorder leads him to leave his family and make some horribly risky decisions around the world. All roads lead back to the psych ward.
Todd’s money-fuelled antics are sometimes fun to read but I’m not entirely sure what the author was trying to achieve. I’m not even sure that there is a lesson to learn or an overarching theme.
I’m also not sure how accurate of an account this is of bipolar disorder. I felt like the novel glamourized the disease. The ending for Todd is sad but it seemed like he had a lot of fun getting there. But maybe that’s the nature of the illness.
In case you missed it, I attended an amazing event held by CAPE Scholarship featuring Chinese-Canadian authors Jan Wong, Wayson Choy and Vincent Lam.
Along with some pretty sweet swag, we walked away with plenty of writing advice. Bloggers and writers, it’s time to learn from the masters.
Vincent has three kids and practices medicine full time! So he relies heavily on scheduling. He always sets apart chunks of time where he does nothing but write. This is something I need to do so I can keep Broken Penguins in tip top shape.
Wayson made a really interesting comment to justify creative non-fiction. While some would call this “lying”, Wayson says it’s okay to tell a real story with a slant so the reader understands your heart. Does that mean he approves of James Frey’s slightly fibbed memoirs A Million Little Pieces? Wayson’s latest book is called Not Yet and tells a creative non-fiction account of his asthma-heart attack. (Ow?)
Lastly, Jan offered some really eloquent advice. She says, “Don’t stare at your cold, dead laptop. Talk to a warm body to help you write”.
You hear that cold, dead laptop? You’re not helping:
Photo credit: Phillip by Keren Segev