Who is Richard Brautigan?

I’ve been low-key discussing fate on my personal blog over the last little while. Obviously my logical and intelligent side is reluctant to consider such things, but sometimes my romantic side wins out. And to be honest it feels kind of nice when I let it. Julia Cameron has this theory of synchronicity that she shares in her books. It’s something that I’ve always kind of loved. The cynic in me wins more frequently these days, but perhaps the lofty girl still exists. The girl who decided that sure, maybe art does float around in the atmosphere, looking for a vessel to land on. Let’s go with that. Then it’s totally not your fault when the air art lands on you and it’s a bit shit. It’s luck, not talent/ability at play, right?

As usual, I digress.

I was talking about fate though. In relation to Richard Brautigan. You see, it becomes a little hard not to believe in fate when I keep accidentally stumbling upon the right book for me, even though it makes no logical sense for me to know so. I found In Watermelon Sugar at one of the bookshops at the Garden Route Mall just outside of George. And I bought it just because.

I didn’t know who Richard Brautigan was and I still don’t. And yet this little book. Oh this book. How I love it so, even after multiple readings.

How is it that a book written in the sixties feels as if it so contemporarily speaks to my present self?

Fate? Luck?

I don’t know. I just know that I need to lay my hands on more of this man’s works. Because I find his mind to be quite remarkable.

James Patterson’s Bookshots

I’ve been curious about James Patterson’s Bookshots for a while now and I finally picked up a few of them to play with. Honestly I think the idea of these books is awesome and so needed! If you’re anything like me, you used to read SO MUCH and then you popped out a kid and inherited two more and suddenly your body just doesn’t have the energy required to do your favourite thing as much as it used to and it’s kind of depressing. You know?

Bookshots are an awesome idea! They’re like little mini books created just for me because I can read them in one sitting and I don’t have to be feeling brainy  to do it (because, let’s face it, James and his co-writers are easy reads) and it means that I can read more often because I’m not looking at a 500 page novel and thinking by the time I get to the end I’ll have already forgotten the beginning.

So yeah. They don’t make me feel like a well-read braniac or anything, but they have their place and probably they’re the kind of book that I can realistically aspire to writing so I’m keen to get my hands on a few more. That’s what we writers do while we’re not writing, isn’t it? We read and hope that it will one day lead to writing…

The Indescribable Delight of Aimee Bender

When I grow up I want to be Aimee Bender. What’s that you say? You’re already grown up? Don’t be a cow. I’m still little. Little little. Little little little little.

Aw damn…

My first Aimee Bender book was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which I only chose to read because of its title. I do that, you see. Choose books because they have either lovely covers or lovely titles. It was a weird book that I didn’t particularly enjoy reading. She did everything wrong. She didn’t use quotation marks, for instance. It annoyed me that for some reason she didn’t need to. I knew which parts were dialogue without them. No man… you can’t do that. What about the rules?! And then? The protagonist had the most insane affliction. That poor girl…

Yet it started opening up a niggle in me…

She wasn’t doing the things right but I understood. And other people even said the book was beautiful which was REALLY weird because this isn’t a normal book people shouldn’t like it because those are the rules.

And yet…

And yet she could say crazy things and not use punctuation like you’re supposed to and the story was sticky like it stuck and the lemon cake tasted like deceit and I understood even though everything was wrong. The story was sticky.

It was so sticky.

And then I bought some of her short stories because why not and those stories were even stickier all sticking in my head like they were super important but they weren’t important they were just true even though they were about mad things like boys who shrink into amoebas and wow… I’m re-reading them all now so I’m feeling happier than usual. Isn’t that nice? For an author to make you feel happy?

So when I grow up I kind of want to be Aimee Bender but the Nadine Rose Larter version (which will probably be sad) because Aimee is so true and real and she just writes whatever crazy thing she wants and even though maybe they’re not important they still really feel like they are.

Because they’re so real and they don’t make sense but that’s kind of really delicious…

The Alphabet Ends With Y

I’m not sure whether I should be writing about this here or on my more personal blog. This space is kind of where the reader comes out to play, while my Nadine Rose Larter blog is more for the over-sharing writer. This particular topic tends to fall under both banners though. And honestly considering my first Sue Grafton novel was devoured in a very small hotel on the Island of Koh Samui, Thailand, an argument could be made that it might even fit nicely on my travel blog.

I digress though.

Sue Grafton died at the end of 2017 and for some reason it has had a sort of sobering effect on me. She is the writer of what I’ve always referred to as The Alphabet Series. I’m sure you’ve seen her books. A is for Alibi. B is for Burglar. C is for Corpse.

I was collecting her books. For no reason other than I like the alphabettiness of her titles. I thought it was cute. I only have a few of them. Three to be exact. It’s a silly challenge but I always imagined that somewhere along the line I would manage to locate all of them and in my retirement I would start at A and make my way through to Z.

But Sue Grafton died.

And she only got to Y. Y is for Yesterday.

And I am surprised by how much this upsets me. This small bit of someone else’s unfinished business.

Because she only got to Y. I cannot help but feel the tragedy of this in my bones.

I didn’t even know her. I’ve only read A.

I’m sorry that you died, Sue Grafton. And I truly hope that one day I will have your 25 letter alphabet on my shelves.

Meeting Kate Atkinson

I have a weird confession. For the last couple of years I’ve been collecting Kate Atkinson books even though I’ve never read her. The collection started with Case Histories, I think. Because I liked the cover. And then I think I might have bought one called Emotionally Weird because I understand that title. And then I just started buying them because I had already started buying them. So now I have a collection.

I finally picked up Case Histories last week (for some reason I have three copies of it!) and I must admit I’m kind of glad that I have a collection to indulge in now. Kate Atkinson is rather lovely, to say the least. And I’m really looking forward to getting to know her better through her work. Sometimes you meet an author and your heart just says yes. I think this is probably why I like to read so much…because the more you read the more likely it is that you’ll get that fuzzy yes feeling that is so rare but so wonderful.

Sadly my collection does not include books #2 and #3 in the Jackson Brodie series, but I’m sure I will have the most delightful time trekking through to all the second hand bookshops and markets around here as I try to track them down. (forgive me, please, for being unable to afford new books…)

So if any of you are looking to get rid of Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn or When Will There Be Good News I would much appreciate the head’s up.

I like you, Kate. You are quite charming. And I’m very glad we’ve met.

JK Rowling Makes So Much Sense

Anyone who knows me knows that JK Rowling is my queen and that I’d be the first to vote for her as world president. For one: you can tell a LOT about someone by reading their books, and she is no exception. Her heart, humour, and humanity is written all over those pages. She is so beautiful to me. She always has been.

But with this Lumos video? She’s outdone herself. I can’t stop thinking about just how much sense this makes. And I cannot fault how right she is. Thank you. Jo, for being the beautiful humanitarian that you are. We all have so much to learn from you.

How Did I Forget That I Love John Green?!

1660975_10153903486230094_2069668086_nSo John Green has lately become my favourite thing of all the things because he is a real person (sadly, as much as I love The Doctor, he is not real) and as a real person I think the contribution that he is making with regards to changing the world is a significant one. John Green is just a good and brilliant man. This is literally a person who has made the world a better place to live in simply by reminding so many people that not-being-an-asshole is kind of the coolest thing there is. John Green and his brother Hank started the Nerdfighter movement which is too much awesomeness for me to even remotely comprehend nevermind share with you so that you might comprehend it. John Green writes the kind of YA literature that you can confidently give your kids and not worry about somehow messing them up for life. In fact, if your kid is reading John Green you can be pretty confident that they will be better people at the end of each novel. How do I know this? Because I am a little bit better for each of his novels that I have read. That is how magic he is.

Anyway – the point is that I forgot that he is one of my favourites of all the favourites while I was writing a post about reading all my favourite authors this month.  This is kind of lame of me but he is a “new” favourite in that he has been a favourite for less than a year so I reckon I can forgive myself for the mistake. Luckily!! My husband bought me this little treasure as an anniversary present (I got him nothing…seriously…why did this man marry me?!) which made me remember that I LOVE JOHN GREEN and now I am so super duper happy because I get to read it right now this very minute as soon as I stop writing about how excited I am to have this new (to me) book by the awesomeness that is John Green. (more…)