I read a book yesterday. An entire book–all 286 pages. I got it the other day from the library upon a recommendation from a trusted friend.
The story held my attention and made me think about some things I’d not previously considered: the local devastation after a nuclear power plant melts down and teen homelessness. It’s not that I had absolutely zero knowledge on either topic; it’s just that I’d never spend an entire day absorbed in a story about a sixteen-year-old girl navigating through the (mental and physical) rubble of her life borne of an accident.
I learned a new word: “cadge.”
The point of view, i.e., first person, reinforced for me how powerful a story told from this vantage can be. It made me immediately want to edit two manuscripts that await on my bookshelf for my attention.
As I read, I wondered about the author. I wondered whether his storytelling was easy this book being his 17th. I wondered whether he questioned his ending coming off as a deus ex machina. (For those who don’t know what that is: A deus ex machina is an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.) I wondered if he considered this a “great book” of his.
While I still read for pleasure, in many ways, I read to see how others write. The pacing and structure, the use of language and nuance, the interior conflicts and story arc have all become raised and apparent when I view a novel both from the perspective of a reader and a writer.
I am curious about your experiences, whether you are a reader or both a writer and a reader.
What is the last book you read? Cover to cover?
What is the last memorable book you read? What made it so?
What is the last good book you read? What made it so?
Thanks in advance for your feedback. It’ll help me when I conceive my next story.