I was reading a contest description the other day (that of course I can’t find now) that started, “Are you writing The Next Great American Novel?” And my left eye started to twitch. I mean honestly.
it did get me thinking. What exactly are we writing? What is the end
result? I’m not talking genre...because I think those change over time,
and I think that in our own bookshelves we categorize much more
differently then we ever would find things in a book store.
you want your writing to be remembered? Because when you get right down
to it...that is the point.
I spent some time looking at my bookshelves. Which are organized by the
intricate workings of my brain, so of course they make perfect sense.
Harry Potter is right next to Diana Gabaldon who is right above
Dickinson who is right next to Rawn. All my Fantasy is organized by how well they fit on the shelf
(obviously). Classics...same. Space is at a premium. But there is one
shelf that is always within easy access, and always has the same books
on it...no matter how many times I move.
I call it my Comfort Food Shelf.
doubt that this was the intent of the authors of these books.
Especially given that one of them is actually labeled as THE Great
American Novel. But these are the books that I return to whenever I need
a mental and emotional refresher.
up is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think I could recite this
book by heart. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me have
faith in the human race again every time I read it.
is, oddly enough, An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I think
this is more of a childhood love than anything else. But I find the
feminist bent in it hysterical every time I read it. She was a crafty
woman that Alcott.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Can you get any more fluffy than this? Flappers and Speakeasies. Love it.
in this shelf is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Epic story on
an epic scale with epic characters. It doesn’t matter how many times
I’ve read it. I’ve package-taped the cover back on. Someday I’ll find a
hardcover edition. Maybe.
I’ll be digging deeper into my bookshelves this week, see what else is
on there. In the meantime, what are your Comfort Food Reads?