Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writing, Journaling, Chronicling

They used to tell me all writers keep journals, but I never succeeded. We're supposed to write every day they say, filling diaries with tales of events that make up our lives, but I'd rather just live them. We chronicle dreams in our notebooks, record every passing idea, and write stories on napkins during dinner... But that was never me. The stories whisper in my head, or spill into drabbles, or bubble through words to the surface when my fingers tap the keys. So many stories, so little time to write them. Must send that next entry in... And meanwhile I read...

More words, more dreams, more stories, more food for the journals I'll never keep. More coffee too. Here are some more book reviews...

I really enjoyed E.G. Lewis's religious novels, but Promises by E.G. Lewis, while just as enjoyable, is a different sort of tale, reminding me of Barbara Taylor Bradford's Woman of Substance. A young girl from the coal-towns of the Appalachian hills goes to New York and retains her honesty, her dignity, and her power. Wide in scope, fascinating in detail, and an enjoyable romantic drama, this is one to enjoy with a well-balanced 3-star cup of coffee.

Spanning America and Australia,  Dean Mayes' The Hambledown Dream is another romantic tale with hints of mystery, redemption and reincarnation. Dark and brooding in its portrayal of Chicago's drug-dealing misery, it's also a beautiful story of music and hope, best enjoyed with another well-balanced 3-star coffee.

Section 132, by Helga Zeiner, is set in Canada and vividly depicts the misery of a child bride in a polygamous community ruled by a man who almost believes he's God. Meanwhile a man who thinks he can control everything in the world of business finds his match. Women used and abused step forwards in this realistic tale, dark and sad, but eventually hopeful. It's a long slow read, sometimes disjointed, but it comes together well. Best enjoyed with a 5-star intense coffee for its intensely heartbreaking scenes.

Finally, Erin Berry's Chronicles of Idiot is set mostly in the States, with occasional forays into wartime Germany and beyond. There's a fascinating premise of a government organization distracting its citizens, and this novel is enjoyably satirical in its view of modern media, but the humor's a bit labored at times. Enjoy a few cups of lively 2-star coffee as the story progresses.


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