Very post-Fitzgeraldian for the millennial set, and for some reason overlooked by the critical apparatus when it came out from Harper Collins. Tom LeClair, august lit critic and novelist, has written a trilogy of basketball novels, beginning with Passing Off. I was hoping this article would result in some recs. Thanks a lot, looking forward to checking these out. Such a disqualification confuses me, however, when you list a book like Underworld as satisfying your definition of a legitimate baseball novel. Your email address will not be published.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. I used to be a monogamist. But something happened to me this summer — some unnoticed change took place — and now here I am reading no less than six books at once. I wonder if I might be preparing for a long winter of making love to War and Peace or something.
In any case, here is the list of the books that currently lie unfinished at my bedside, in no particular order, along with some thoughts on each. Who is this Gates? Never has midlife crisis been so funny, or so extreme, as it is in Preston Falls. Gates goes deep between the ears of his two main characters, Willis and Jean, mining their thoughts for the plentiful deposits of self-defeatism, marital angst, parenting missteps, etc. Set on the idyllic close of a New England prep school, Old School tracks the main character, an aspiring writer, through the evolution of his literary consciousness.
In somewhat fantastic fashion, great writers visit the school in rapid succession. Weak premises.
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Weak defeated people. Pelecanos : I had just moved and was lovingly establishing my modest library on its new shelves. I picked up this book, which I read years ago and which inspired me to consume the entire Pelecanos collection like a binging crime-noir junkie, and dove right in. Pelecanos acts as writer and producer for the show, which Salon. Patriots are cool, Lobster Backs suck, and George Washington?
Currently I am reading about the Battle of Brooklyn, which constituted the first costly loss for the Continental Army, and is of particular interest to me because I live in Brooklyn and thus tread daily on the same ground as those soldiers. I wonder who wins in the end. The writing is spare, the language stark, the stories possessed of a simple, dark beauty.
An admirer of Hubert Selby, Jr. I was drawn to this particular story, Three Years because of themes relating to love and happiness, or the lack thereof, but have so far found it to be less impressive than I expected. Forgive me.
So there you have it, quite a gathering of authors. It occurs to me that I need to round out this group with a female writer or two. Maybe Emily will lend me her copy of the new Harry Potter …. In fact, The Millions was the offspring of a New Years resolution in As drew to a close, I bought myself a Moleskine notebook and resolved, as I had many times in the past, to begin keeping a journal.
Find Another Essay On Personal Narrative- Girls Basketball Game Preparation
It started off reasonably well, but it was soon clear that this resolution was taking the trajectory of so many others: strict adherence to the plan at the outset followed by swiftly plummeting interest. I eventually switched from writing in the journal to writing for the blog to see if that would motivate me after fits and starts, it did.
But it was the idea of keeping track of and reflecting on what I read that helped inspire The Millions and gave purpose to what I read. It also made me a much better reader. It all goes back to the notion that we can only read a finite number of good books in our lifetime, so we may as well make the most of them, even if that means just keeping a list so you can jog your memory and recall the experience of reading this or that book.
At its best, reflecting on what you read better enables you to take what is essentially a solitary pastime and use it to build a library of knowledge to mull over and share. Happy New Year, everyone! In high school I had a zine with my friend Vanessa.idinolacez.ml
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It included our poetry and short stories, and for the cover of the first issue we used a label maker to spell out its title. He paper-clipped two dollars in cash to his request. For some reason, I put the letter aside. From time to time, I took out the request, read it, and then put it back. Years later, I spent the money. I had planned to, but something, perhaps the teenage trifecta of distraction, malaise, and self-absorption, held me back.
As if my juvenile zine really mattered all that much to anyone.
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As a reader, my only rule is that a character be interesting. I want characters to make mistakes and put themselves first without apologizing for it. While many readers tell me they like the wife, Frida, many do not. I was surprised, too, that character likability was a central focus of the review. To be honest, the negative reactions to Frida have given me a wee bit of a complex.
These characters frustrated and disappointed me, but I always found them compelling. Maybe the post-apocalyptic genre has trained us to expect characters to break free from the shackles of pettiness and resentment and grief in the face of world-ruin. Becky Sharp? Would I truly have wanted to take a spa weekend with any of them? When had that become a requirement for appreciating a fictional character? Women really are strong when they have to be. After all, my real-life best friend can be all of those things, and I still love her. Author Emma Straub helped me put this all in perspective.
Emma is wonderfully sanguine about the issue: I certainly never intended to make my characters either likable or unlikeable — my goal with the characters in this book was to make them as real as possible. Warts and all. I truly could not care less if readers feel differently. Are those unlikeable characters? To some people, probably.
Traditionally, the Unlikeable Character in fiction is created with authorial intention. Unreliable Characters, a la the infamous butler in Remains of the Day , are also traditionally revealed this way. Part of me is embarrassed that I unintentionally wrote characters that are so insufferable—at least to some readers. This was part anthropological experiment, part focus group.
I felt like, if I could just get some answers, I might understand my own book a little better. There really is no substitute for working hard. The amount of effort we put into those things define how hard we are willing to work….