What is this writer reading?
The answer to that question is “Not nearly as much as I’d like to” because the holiday season gobbles up so much time. I’m not complaining, though, because Christmas is the one time that my whole clan gathers in Arizona. Beth and family live close by, but Chris and Brett live in Toronto and Scott lives in Amsterdam. Needless to say, Judi and I are delighted to see them all, and we appreciate the tens of thousands of air miles required for the annual reunion.
But all of this has nothing to do with what I’m reading. As usual, I’m reading more than one book at a time.
- The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. This is the final book in Pullman’s wildly popular His Dark Materials Trilogy. I read them all many years ago, but I’m one of those people who rereads books that appeal to me. Last week I finished book two, The Subtle Knife, and though I didn’t remember much of the story, a couple of scenes stood out like shining beacons.
Back when I originally read the book, a friend and I agreed that it contained a chapter that was among the best we’d ever read — but we chose different chapters. Pam Keyes, author of The Jumbee (highly recommended!), felt that chapter nine, Theft, was beyond compare. My vote was for chapter fourteen, Alamo Gulch.
- Damn Fine Story, by Chuck Wendig. The irrepressible Mr. Wendig tones down his habitual vulgarity in this craft book about the art of storytelling. I’m only on page 45, so I can give you only my initial impression: it’s entertaining, but so far I haven’t gleaned much to improve my ability to spin gripping tales. Maybe the next chapter will turn me into a genius? One can always hope, eh?