Saturday, November 04, 2017

Three Things To Start November

Since it's Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I've got an extra hour. What better way to spend it than blogging?

1. I'm reading Grant by Ron Chernow and I'm really enjoying it. Chernow is at the height of his biographical powers. Ulysses S. Grant seems so much more accessible than Washington. Like Hamilton, he jumps off the page. Hell, he jumps off the cover. Look at him. If you don't have the book, go get a fifty-dollar bill. I'll you see what I mean. He looks modern, all beardly and such. That soulful, forthright gaze. I feel as if I could walk down the streets here in Sedalia, MO and see Grant.  You know who else jumps off the page? General Sherman! He and Grant have a fine bromance. Like many people, I'm imagining a musical. This is a long read and Grant may be my last book for 2017. I hope not, because I was hoping to work in a read of Tess of the D'Urbervilles before the end of the year. If Grant does turn out to be my last book, what a great finish!

2. I haven't participated in NaNoWriMo since 2014, when I took a deep breath and wrote Even If the Sky Falls Down. It was a frustrating, exhausting and exhilarating experience and I want to do it again. So...enter the zygote novel provisionally titled Chicken Diary. I'd forgotten the fun of discovering things about the characters. Maybe I won't make 50,000 words, but I'll get a nice chunk done before the end of the month.

3. I've finally unpacked all my feelings about A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It was compelling, but not exactly the greatest prose I've ever read. Why was I so attracted? Then it hit me: I like overwrought stories. The Young and the Restless. Taylor Caldwell, my go-to comfort read. (I must do a post about Caldwell's Melissa, a novel I read earlier this year. Yikes.) Also, take away the gay storyline, as well as the edgy elements that make up Jude's past and present life in A Little Life and it's a 1940s "women's picture". There's suffering, but everyone is noble and attractive, apologizes profusely, and it's all done in gorgeous clothing, splendid houses and breathtaking settings. Yanagihara unapologetically lays it on with a king-sized trowel. I love the book. It annoys me, but I absolutely love it.

4. Okay, I know I said "Three Things" in the subhead, so just call it being bad at math or something. I found a new vlog on YouTube that I'm crazy about called The Restricted Section. Two young bookworms candidly discuss their reading and their book hoards and drink craft beer. Best of all, they are practically in my backyard! One hundred miles away, which is nothing. Maybe I'll get to meet them one day. Meanwhile, I eagerly await uploads from Megan and Sue.


Unruly Reader said...

Chicken Diary -- I completely Can't Wait! Write, dear Bybee, like you're running out of time...

Care said...

Nifty. I link to you in tomorrow's post. I will look for that youtube reading thing with beer. Do you want to be on my list of possible invitees to the 2018 book blogger getaway I'm trying to hatch?

Bybee said...

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it...

Yes, I would like to be an invitee!