For every author, there comes that swallow-hard and grit-your-teeth moment when you open a review of your work.
Recently, I was in touch with a reader/reviewer from Ireland who reviewed CAIRNAERIE. Looking over his list of reviewed books, I noticed something that I really liked. His reading choices, like mine, are highly eclectic — and include the classics.
As a high-school student, I didn’t always appreciate the required reading choices my teachers made. Some of them — Catcher in the Rye comes to mind — I didn’t like. But there were other little gems that have stuck with me and remained personal favorites. One is Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, a picture of turn of the century American life.
Another is Saroyan’s A Human Comedy, a quick yet amazingly deep read that has a lot to say about life, death and the value of human lives and interactions.
As a writer, the classics fuel my desire for excellence. Authors with styles as different as Theodore Dreiser and William Saroyan show me how the parts of a good, classic book work together, how the many layers of a book are as important as the whole, and how a writer’s overall style emerges. In some ways, these books are my best teachers.
I read classics to learn — as well as for pleasure. Do you have classics that are lifelong favorites?
And if you’re looking for good book recommendations and reviews, I recommend checking out my reviewer’s site. And while you’re there, check out his review of CAIRNAERIE.