Happy New Year – Let’s make it joyful, safe, productive, and positive. Now that I’ve taken care of that, here’s my first real complaint about the new year. Why the hell do some writers have to be so good?
My imaginary, open and terse letter to Sherman Alexie.
Dear Mr. Alexie, sham that you are. It’s time to quit pretending you’re a good writer. Time for you to fess up and take it like a man. You’re not a good writer, far from it, my friend. You are a brilliant writer. Now go to…
The last book I read in 2022 was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
As I said to my better half, (Suzanne) “This may not be the best book I’ve read, but if not, it’s damn close.” Those were words not lightly spoken. They were as serious as me saying Häagen-Dazs Butter Pecan ice cream is man’s greatest invention.
The book is a semi-autobiographical novel about Mr. Alexie. Born with hydrocephalus, raised early on a Spokane Indian reservation, both parent’s alcoholics, lonely, and bullied, he attended an all-white school 22 miles from the reservation. Don’t be dissuaded by the Teen or YA category of this book. Alexie captures the most basic, difficult, sad, and joyous moments of the teen years of all children and sets them smack down in the middle of an Indian reservation. An easy to read and sometimes laugh out loud book. The author captures all we need to know about how hard a child’s life can be, and what courage a child can show. As a reader, I had to set aside my initial feelings that the issues seemed all too common, too cliché. This book is not simplistic in any manner. It is because this writer has the skills needed to take the most troublesome matters and make them understandable, moving, and challenging without hitting the reader over the head with them. Had I answered him aloud, it would have been, “Yes, I see it all.”
Every reader decides at some point that a book or story is vital to them, or something to be set aside and forgotten. For some, I suspect Part-Time Indian would fit in the second category. So be it. For me, it is an amazing piece of writing from an author who knows what words he puts to paper is his truth. If you read it, it may not move you, but it’s well worth the time and effort to see how it fits.
I am now reading a manuscript that a friend of mine has been writing for the past few years. I will refrain from sharing the title and the author’s name for now. Still, I can’t hold back from saying that it is going to be a magnificent book when published. I look forward to being able to write more about it in the near future.
This brings me full circle back to the beginning of this post. I feel blessed that I ended last year on such a high reading note as I did with Alexie’s book. Now I have a new 2023 gift in reading my friend’s manuscript. But it’s still unfair, and I repeat, “Why the hell do some writers have to be so good?”
I share a picture of Alexie’s book cover. As the new day has started, I feel positive about the new year. I sincerely wish nothing but the best for all. OK, not Putin, he can be locked in a dark room and be forced to listen 24 hours a day to Pat Boone sing versions of ACDC songs, cranked to eleven.
Go Well. David.
On the wall above my computer. My goal always –
“If I haven’t made you smile, or cry, or think, or laugh, then I haven’t done my job as a writer.”
Please consider my new book. Cardboard Heroes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BHC2MZCR
One thought on “Jealousy – such an ugly thing”
I am happy you highlight your favorite books. There are so many to choose, it is nice to have a guide. I tend to find amazing books by going onto Libby, the library app, and choosing the next available book. This is a random way of selecting, and so far I have read some very good books such as: Elenor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty, The Girl with the Lower Back Tatoo by Amy Schumer, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Murel Barbery. This is a very eclectic selection.
How do you find books? What is your source for inspiration?
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