11 01 2010

It’s still early in the morning, and I suppose I should already explain myself (as one often has to, on a daily basis) by starting with the title for this blog entry. I could have typed it out Novel[ties] instead of Novel-ties, which would have made more sense to the readers, as the current heading would have you reading it as “novel ties” instead of “novelties”… which is actually what I was going for, be it in a rather roundabout way (or not – am I making sense to you? Cause I’m sure not to me).

In any case, all I wanted to talk about today is the books I am currently reading, each one a novelty – and, of course, a novel – in their own way. Now, a novelty can be something new and unusual, an innovation; it can be something newfangled, unique and ‘fresh’, something different from anything you have seen before; and it can also refer to baubles and trinkets and knickknacks and many other whatchamacallit hoo-hah bits, what sites as “an article of trade whose value is chiefly decorative, comic, or the like and whose appeal is often transitory”. I suppose that I am implying all of the above in relation to these novels, even if the third option seems unclear in relation to a novel. Yet within a novel, and around it, you find many trimmings and frills and decorations, things to capture the readers, to make them laugh, to add to their reading experience and what they take from the novel at the end of the day (which, hopefully, is a sense of pure satisfaction).

All that said, it is interesting to note that synonyms for “novelty” include: strangeness, permutation, weird, oddball, objet d’art, gimmick, mutation, surprise, unfamiliarity, and (as my favourites) crazy and weird. I think I like these descriptions best, as I am sure most writers would. It brings a kind of humble quality and feeling to the writer and his/her writings, while in a sense portraying that inner craziness all writers are said to harbour within them. If there is any place to go crazy and unleash all your oddball mutations and airy-fairy stars moon night-time black sky notions, then why not via the pages you love so much?

Again, as ever in this blog, I’m moving far south of the mark I set my course upon, which is basically just saying something mundane and arbitrary: what I am currently reading, one of life’s simple little activities. But reading is more than that – it’s not just simple humdrum, and any reader will tell you that. As I have already discussed the merits I found in reading, I shall not lecture you on why reading is important or any such thing. All I can say is that all the works I have read thus far comes to play in on the notion of “novel ties” – the way that each novel and story collection has become tied and interlinked in the strong, solidifying chains that has ‘bound’ me into who I am today, into what kind of ideas (and ideals) I have, as well as how I function, fantasize, live, and love in this crazy, never-mundane-yet-seemingly-so world.

Okay, no more mouthful; on to the books. While I was ill, I read the introduction to and the first few pages of THE GREAT GATSBY, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s a novel I’ve been meaning to read for ages, as both my sisters read it in high school (and I did not, as we have another prescribed text that year). It’s a classic, and I love the classics, especially BLEAK HOUSE, although I don’t believe that I am Dickensian. I haven’t continued reading the novel, because when I was ill, I could only focus on a maximum of ten pages at a time, which means that Mr Gatsby now lays waiting patiently on a pile collecting dust… well, actually, no, he isn’t – I’m a clean freak, OCD and all that, so let’s just say that metaphorically he’s collecting dust.

Last night, while waiting to go out to dinner with one of my Significant Other’s ‘business associates’ (he actually comes from the UK), I started reading THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD, by Lionel Shriver. I’m only 35 pages into the book, and I must say that I absolutely love the style, the descriptions, the characters’ nuances… I’m sure there will be a character or two I come to despise, and also moments when I either want to recoil on the inside on behalf of the main character, or slam her forehead against a Formica kitchen counter because of her decisions and such, so this book is definitely going to be a pleasure. But the book I am most excited about, and which I only put down long enough to type this entry, is definitely one of the best things that has happened to me this year (which probably isn’t saying much, since it’s only the 11th, but whose counting, right?!)

My Significant Other’s friend bought me a copy of HAUNTED HEART – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF STEPHEN KING, and brought it along with him to last night’s dinner get together!! First UNDER THE DOME, a truly epic novel, and now a book looking in-depth at the man himself – not his works, but what hides in the haunted corridors and rooms of his Hotel California heart and soul. Yip, this is definitely going to be a gooood year.




One response

11 01 2010

The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favorite books. And it has my favorite closing line of any book ever.

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