Hi! So sorry to report that one of my eyes is acting wonky and is completely bothered when I try to read or look at the Internet. (Evidently God is telling me to find some new hobbies.) No worries; I'm getting it looked at this week.
But in the meantime I am not really reading anything. And, let me tell you, that IS DRIVING ME NUTS. I never realized how much time I spend reading in a day, mostly in two- to three-minute increments, but still. So: I could not look at my Feedly list to find links for Citizen Reading this week; but I do have some reading notes. Hope you all have a great week and hope to see you with Citizen Reading links next week.
MY READING NOTES
I've been reading some writing "craft" books--books meant to help you hone your writing craft. The last two I looked at were by Roy Peter Clark; a new one titled The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing, and an older book of his titled How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times.
I actually liked the latter rather than the former. Especially if you have any kind of job writing or doing social media, this could be a good read for you. It's full of short chapters, each explaining one "write short" tip, like changing your pace, hitting your target, grouping concepts in twos and threes, etc. There's some good stuff there, but I wasn't really in the mood to read it. Same deal for The Art of X-Ray Reading book, in which Clark examines 25 classics to see what he can learn about good writing. I read the first three chapters on The Great Gatsby (learn "the power of the parts"); Lolita (wordplay); and Ernest Hemingway and Joan Didion ("words left out"), and they were okay, but I didn't really feel like continuing.
Weeks ago now I read Lindy West's Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Then I had to take it back to the library before I could write about it, but I actually requested it back so I could write about it more clearly. And now my damn eye won't permit me the luxury of re-skimming this one to tell you what I thought. (Here's a review of it instead.) It was okay; I thought West was funny, and some of her essays here are very good (particularly the one about dealing with online trolls, which was so appalling on so many levels). Take, for example, this paragraph, when she talks about a particularly nasty (and targeting) troll who actually took the trouble to set up a Twitter account purporting to be her dead dad*: "It was well into the Rape Joke Summer and my armor was thick. I was eating thirty rape threats for breakfast at that point (or, more accurately, 'you're fatter than the girls I usually rape' threats), and I felt fortified and righteous. No one could touch me anymore." (p. 241.)
That's so sad, but I give her points for keeping on keeping on in the face of such vicious idiocy.
*I know, it's so stupid it defies belief. Where do these people get all the time?