“I recently moved from Brooklyn (population: 2.5 million) to Nederland (population 1,500),” says Read It Forward editor Kira Walton. “I manage RIF from this tiny town high up in the Colorado mountains, a far cry from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. On some days, your always-welcome website comments, Facebook posts, and tweets are my only contact with the outside world. Which brings me to my current dilemma: the great outdoors has ruined me as a reader.”
Every week, Read It Forward gathers the latest and greatest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: a book store that sells only one book, the truth about book covers and blurbs, a virtual roundtable discussion of David Foster Wallace’s posthumously published novel The Pale King & more.
Warm, nostalgic, and inspirational, A Reason to Believe is destined to become a timeless tribute to a uniquely American odyssey and a testament to what is possible in our lives and our communities if we are hopeful, generous, and resilient.
I guess you could say I have what is called a concept in mind but not a theme. (I never know the themes of my novels until they’re published and then other people explain them to me.) So I basically begin writing with a few underdeveloped characters, no plot, no theme, no outline, and a vague concept. You see why no one ever invites me to teach a creative writing course.
Books with only heart-breaking plot points, utterly unlikable characters, dysfunction piled atop dysfunction have no choice but to rely on the clarity of the prose and ingenuity of the structure to provide the book’s redemption. In other words, when the content is all hideousness the form has got to be all brilliance. In other other words, it allows great writing to shine through unadulterated.
Every week, Read It Forward gathers the latest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: the best literary crime novels, how a blank book made it to the top of the UK Amazon bestseller list, what your favorite kids book then says about you now & more.
“If I were to create a list of everything I love about The Bird Sisters,” says editor Kate Kennedy, “and what I have learned from and been inspired by in its author, Rebecca Rasmussen, it would include these. Generosity. Respect. Unwavering enthusiasm. Inspiring the best in those around you. Creativity. Boundless energy. Tenacity. Faith in every opportunity, every friendship, every possibility. Hope.”
For years, people have been guessing around at why, as a species, we love to do things like watch hideously depressing movies or read paralyzingly sad books. And while I’m sure your analyst could have a field day teasing apart just what, specifically, about your childhood led you to your particular sad-book propensity, I’m going to put forth a generally applicable theory and then leave you with a selection of titles that will make you hurt so good.