Entry for May 29, 2008

This post is going to be about two things. First, how the book The Chosen by Chaim Potek fascinated me. Second, how I love all books that are based on other stories and I wonder why this is so.

I picked up The Chosen from the little Coventry library for the usual reason that I get books there. It wasn’t new. The library’s pretty small (I think slightly bigger than West Richland, but with a worse selection) and I guess they must change out books often, because the vast majority of their fiction books have been written in the last 10 years. Most of them in the last 5 years. I don’t tend to read new books unless I’ve heard they’re good, because they tend to be lame. Even books that are popular tend to be lame. I guess people are stupid and need stupid books written for them? I don’t know what makes books/authors popular. Anyway, the moral of the story is that I really liked The Chosen. It was one of those that I read until 1 in the morning because I didn’t want to stop. It’s about some Jewish kids from two different sects who become friends. It was good. Go read it. I can’t explain why I liked it. Don’t let the fact that it starts with a baseball game put you off.

I read Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire over the past two evenings. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless you’re really into European history of 1500 – 1520 and even then you might not like it because it’s kinda weird. All of the books of his which I have read (Wicked and Son of Witch) are kinda wierd and vauge. However, I did enjoy it and it made me think about how I’ve always loved books which are based a character in or a part of well known stories. The first ones that I remember reading were some book by Patricia St. John (The Runaway perhaps?) which is about some boy who gets healed by Jesus or something, The Robe which I adored and should read again, because I can’t remember what happened, and Ben Hur which I also adored. More recently I’ve obviously been reading Wicked, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, and last night I read a collection of short stories by Anne Carter which were mostly fairy tale re-tellings. I wouldn’t recommend Anne Carter, but it was sorta interesting. Anyway, the point is that I like these stories about stories and I think it’s because I’ve always wondered if there’s more behind a story than what the author can put down in a short book. I think I should have done something like that for my novel. If I am ever forced to do another novel class, I’m gonna write the back story for some character in some book that I like. Luckily, I don’t forsee Learn to Write the Novel Way re-appearing in my future, so nobody has to worry about it.

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