Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I just discovered my life calling.

Well, okay, that's not true. I know my life calling. I know what I'm going to be doing in my near future and where God is leading my life. But, let me just say, for Apologetics I had to read a popular fiction novel. My group chose "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." It was settled that I would tackle the technical excellence of the book (according to Schaeffer's Art and the Bible). By the first 50 pages I already have a single spaced page of critique by character, by plot, by skill. Why have I never done this?

I've done book reviews before. But always on theology books or commentaries. I've read a lot of books. But in the past three years my leisure reading has been lacking significantly, beside in the summer when I try to read a few fiction and nonfiction books. So it surprised me when I had so much to say on Larsson's novel.

This summer I'm going to start being an avid reader, again. Actually, I should start right now. I have spare minutes in the day I don't use, I should be reading a book. And then, I'm going to start writing reviews on what I read. This will also give me an excuse to try to get some writing published.

I'm one of those people that think books should be hard to read. There should be words you don't understand in them. The concepts should make your brain struggle. Not that light reads can't be insightful or even life-changing. In my writing I often find myself saying things that don't really make sense. Then I read it again, know my reader probably won't understand what I'm saying, and shrug. This must be strange and probably not a very good technique. I wonder if writers always know what they are saying, every word, every sentence, every paragraph planned. I wonder if you were to take a sentence out and read it remotely to the author, would they know what they were trying to say? Would you?

I wonder if we do this with scripture. Kind of a funny thought to think about, taking verses out of context and trying to get them to mean what we want them to say.

Back to my review. Suggestion: Don't bother reading the book. Like I said I haven't read much popular fiction lately, but The Help by Stockett was worthwhile. I'd pick that one up instead.


Donna Boucher said...

This summer you must read, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
I don't think I've gotten you to read this yet have I.
I figured something out this morning when I was thinking about this topic.
A great book must be great at the end.

I have read many books lately that fall apart by the end.
The author cant seem to sustain the quality throughout.

I've never read it anywhere, but there is my wisdom from many years of reading and loving to read.

Must have "fireworks" at the end of the book.

You also need to read MFS's blog. She is the best writer I know. Interesting and thoughtful thinker too.

Sometimes her sentences don't make sense to me.
I think you could relate to the way she thinks and writes.


Mary said...

Hi Emma! I come check you out every so often from your mom's blog.
I did not like Dragon Tattoo at all!! I'm in 2 book clubs and both chose this book. The majority of the girls loved this book but I just really didn't! I'm an avid reader as well. I just recommended "Moloka'i" to your mom. Historical fiction and a sweeping, well written (in my opinion! I'm not a real book reviewer!) story about a leper colony in turn of the century Hawaii. The story spans 50 years and is one of those that you hate to see end!

Emma said...

Mary - I LOVE historical fiction; Exodus by Leon Uris is one of my favorite books. I might even try to find Moloka'i to read over spring break. Thanks for the suggestion!

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