The Joys of Reading

There have been times when I had to read what was assigned: high school, college, graduate school, and I was so happy when they were over and I had time to read what I wanted. I did learn so much reading what was assigned and I learned how to do independent learning. At present I am reading about metros and cities changing the face of our globe: The Metropolitan Revolution.That is good daytime, full focus reading. It has helped me and no doubt others to transmute our frustration with governments into something pragmatic and innovative. It is a call to positive, creative action:

Power, in short, is shifting again in our country. We are, in the end, not a nation beholden to the 537 elected officials in the federal government, no matter how high the office. Nor are we a nation in thrall to almost 8,000 elected officials in state governments. Rather, we are a powerful, growing nation of 315 million people, with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals playing active, participatory leadership roles in their communities and metropolitan areas.

I love a good healthy rebellion! And Bruce Katz’s and Jennifer Bradley’s vocabularies are greater than my own. I enjoy looking up and learning new words! Not to mention grasping new concepts and ideas. Brain candy!

George R. R. Martin’s Feast for Crows is my fantasy book of choice at present. He is a master story teller who has created characters many of us miss when we don’t get to see them on Game of Thrones every Sunday. So I am well ahead of the story and looking forward to seeing it this fall. His books have a density and intensity that make great entertainment.

The third book I am reading now is Stephen King’s On Writing. It is a practical, helpful, insightful book for writers, his subtitle is A Memoir of the Craft. I actually haven’t read any of his books. They are a little intense for me, but I am enjoying this behind the scenes work of his and his willingness to be so open about himself and specific about the craft.

Alexander McCall Smith writes the kind of book I like to read at bedtime. His characters are everyday people who do everyday things in locales other than mine. His interior descriptions of what people think and feel, their motivations and opinions, delights me. The Dog Who Came in from the Cold which is the second on his Corduroy Mansions series. He weaves the lives of characters who live in an apartment building of that name through short chapters with names like “The Use of the Subjunctive”. His stories soothe me just like the stories my mom used to read to my sister and me at bedtime. They are about people and far away places who are more like me than they are different. There is a warm humanness in his work.

Stephen King says writers read and learn from other authors. I agree as do many other writers. Enjoying and comparing many styles is a delight of the free. I am certainly loving my freedom. How about you?