Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life is too short

Life is too short to read mediocre books and I’ve been reading too many mediocre books lately. Nothing truly awful, just clumsy an unmemorable.

There was that debut about a woman re-inventing herself post her husband’s death in a car accident which may not have been an accident - an interesting premise filled with too many uninteresting scenes. No, I don’t remember the title or the author.

Then there was that crime novel, a classic. It was supposed to have a brilliant twist at the end. I didn’t get past page 1.

One that I actually enjoyed was a comedian’s take on dating (non-fiction). If only it had a point, like that life is too short for mediocre sex encounters... or to short for marriage when so much fun can be had playing the field. The message I was left with, however was this:
· All women f---. You must just discover what makes them tick and decide whether you care enough to put it into action.
· All men f---. You must just name the time and the place.
Deep stuff.

Another non-fiction book I read almost to the end was inspirational, up to a point. It talked about the fashionable topic of thinking positive thoughts to attract the things you want in life. And you know, I actually believe the stuff works. Perhaps not exactly the way such books describe, but I agree with a lot of the principles: love, forgiveness, faith, believing in yourself. I stopped reading this particular one, however, when it tried to explain the phenomenon scientifically, using - nay, abusing - the author’s shaky understanding of quantum physics.

Perhaps the best bits of writing I had the pleasure to read lately were some of the entries in the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest and the entries in a local writing competition I’m judging. Which makes me wonder whether unpublished books aren’t currently better than what’s on the shelves. Which in turn makes me think that perhaps life is too short to chase publication at all cost....

(Yeah, ok, easy for me to say.)

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