I wrote down everything I read and began writing my own first novel...

This blog aimed to contrast what I was reading in in 1975-79 with the same month, week and day, 30 years later in 2005-2009. I'm leaving the blog up in archive mode, blogging in real time on Live Journal--and still writing novels.

Lynne Murray's Live Journal and Bride of the Dead Blog

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Help me find those parts of myself I thought I'd lost forever...

Perhaps we could start by looking under the sofa.

Sorry, but I heard that line in a television movie trailer. I had to write it down because I could not stop laughing. Turns out I got a few words wrong. If you're masochistic enough to watch to the end of this extended trailer you can hear it for yourself. It's from the new Diane Lane, Richard Gere "middle-aged romance" movie, Nights in Rodanthe. The real quote is "You came along and helped me find those parts of myself I thought I'd lost forever."

Anything that makes me laugh is worth the effort, but this is almost the quintessence of the sort of movie I stay away from. Author of the book the movie is is based on is Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote the megahit The Notebook, and he's definitely hit a nerve with many people.

I was also moved, but to laughter rather than tears.

We now return you 1978.

August 19 to September 19, 1978 I read:

You Need Help, Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz

It's a Dog's Life, Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Surprise! surprise!: How the lawmen conned the thieves by Ron Shaffer, Kevin Klose & Alfred E Lewis

Cheap Thrills, History of Pulp Fiction by Ron Goulart

The Wolf Children
, by Charles MacLean
Review on feral children.com

Risk by Dick Francis

Scott & Earnest, the Fitzgerald Hemingway Friendship by Matthew J. Bruccoli

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

Links by Charles Panati

My Bike & Other Friends, Vol. II of Book of Friends
by Henry Miller

Poetry of the Blues
by Samuel Charters

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Another sensitive book that didn't do it for me, my comment: "Whyever did she write this banal book?"

Fear of Flying by Eric Jong (a re-read)

Wit's End, Days & Nights of the Algonquin Round Table by James R. Gaines

Dickens of London by Wolf Mankowitz

The Natural Mind by Andrew Weil

August 19 to September 19, 1978 I read:

Brightness Falls from the Air by James Tiptree, Jr.
Crown of Stars by James Tiptree, Jr.
wiki on James Tiptree,Jr

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
I have to comment that while this book offered state-of-the art storytelling, it also had a cliffhanger "to be continued" ending, which I found unethical. Particularly because the book is a hardcover marketed to young adults.

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black
Jenna Black

I liked the concept of a free-lance exorcist in a demon-ridden world, but getting to know the characters and even the plot itself was for me at least, undermined by every-other-chapter graphic sex, beginning with phone sex and progressing to BDSM, dungeons and so on. One blurb called it "early Anita Blake" but it's much closer to more recent of Laurell K. Hamilton's novels. Your mileage may vary, some people read these books for the hot scenes. I find that when you don't know the characters before they are merging their stripper-toned bodies, a book becomes more like actual pornography where the characters are not supposed to have depth. Porn characters like the heroines/heroes of conventional romance and thrillers, are stand-ins for the reader, so they don't exist as individuals in the same way as more rounded characters do. An example of such a narrative problem is when the heroine provides plot complications simply by refusing to cooperate with all the other characters even when it makes no sense and puts everyone's life in danger. Those kinds of crankiness need to be strongly motivated or they just look like a case of perpetual PMS.