I have finally finished my May book challenge book, here in almost mid-June. What can I say? There was a lot of stuff going on in my life. But I am now on vacation, in a quiet cabin in the woods, near enough to old friends to not be isolated, but quiet enough to relax without a schedule.
But I loved the book I chose for this month, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, by Tracy Kidder (an award-wining author) and his editor (from The Atlantic Monthly) Richard Todd. It is not a how-to, but a series of articles on different types of nonfiction: narratives, essays, and memoirs; and the language surrounding them: facts and truth and accuracy, style, commerce, and finally a perspective on being edited and then being the editor. The authors tell stories. They reference both classic and not-so-familiar books, telling stories from them to illustrate their points. And they end with a short chapter on commonly seen word and language usage and grammar that they would “happily expunge from the language” (p.176). Yes, your pet word peeves, grammar mistakes, and more will be found there!
One of the things I have discovered in reading the books for this challenge (books that have been on my shelf for over a year, that is, purchased in 2013 or before) is that though I have enjoyed reading them, not all of them are keepers. One I will keep for the cover…or maybe just keep and frame the cover? Two I will pass on to friends or a book sale. One I’m not sure of. But this book, Good Prose, is a book that will stay on my shelves.
And the rain? As I tried to finish the last three chapters in the past two days, the weather has alternated between gentle rain and sunshine and a downpour of rain and sunshine…and then repeated several times daily. So when the sun is shining, I try to get outside, when the downpours descend, I have to retreat inside, and in between or with gentle rain, I sit on the porch with my iced tea, happily sipping and reading and marking passages with post-it notes for later perusal (a word they would like to expunge). Oh, well. I am writing informally, after all (which they also discuss). On to the next book!