Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wishlist Wednesday: In A Biographical Frame of Mind

Allofasudden, I have an urge to read three particular biographies.

It all began two nights ago when I went to Becka's for "Mad Men Monday". This week was the season finale. As the episode ended, Roy Orbison was singing Shahdaroba. (Great choice. I would've been more predictable and chosen It's Over.) The song stuck in my head and now I feel like reading Dark Star, the biography about Orbison.

The next evening, I came home and found Time magazine in my mailbox. I haven't read it all yet, but I noticed in the book reviews that a new biography about W. Somerset Maugham has just been published. It looks and sounds wonderful. Maybe I'll run across it soon at What The Book? or Kyobo. Maugham has stayed consistently popular in Asia, probably because many of his novels are set here.

Today, I came in to the office and saw that one of my colleagues has books piled up all around his cubicle as if he's rethinking what he's going to keep and throw out. A 1987 biography of Ernest Hemingway snagged my eye and I promptly put a sticky note on the book asking if I could borrow it. The bio is delightfully long, a veritable doorstop of a book with lots of great photos with detailed and intelligent captions.

This week, I finished a biography of Huey Long that was written for the YA audience but older readers will appreciate the author's lucid explanations of the political and economic history and climate that fostered Long's rise to power. During a couple of long subway rides on Sunday, I finished Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller which was gritty and captivating. Now I'm reading One Step From Heaven by An Na, which is a novel about the Korean immigrant experience.

You'll notice I haven't mentioned NaNoWriMo. Shudder. I'm only at 6,350 words. The "No" in NaNoWriMo seems to have taken on a completely different meaning.


Unruly Reader said...

Oh, you're having one of those lucky moments when you just *know* what books you're meant to read next. I hope you enjoy them!

....Petty Witter said...

A good range of books there. My personal choice would have to be Roy Orbison - funny, I love his music but know very little about the man himself.

Bybee said...

Unruly Reader,
Yeah, it's funny that they all presented at almost the same moment.

Petty Witter,
Same here. I don't know much about Roy Orbison, either, but I'm a big fan of his music.

Sandra said...

Roy Orbison is dreamy.

Care said...

Hi, just stopping by to say hello and to wish a GOOD GAME today... I would cheer for Mizzou if I wasn't already a CATS fan!

Heather said...

I hope that you have gotten your second wind on your writing. Go for the cliches and enjoy them. My daughter has challenged me to include particular words such as sassafras and bonanza. another writer suggested okra. I got them all and they added word count but still kept with my story. I am thinking I might run out of story before I reach my goal. Right now my character is in Japan in 1905 and I am having difficulties researching it for accuracy. I must be crazy, but it is fun.