Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Shop Talk |

Writing without reading?

Some frustrated soul on Facebook has started an “I Hate Reading” page. Even though–in keeping with the “I hate reading” theme–there’s nothing actually on the page, over 475,000 people “like” it. AbeBooks issued the following video, entitled “Long Live the Book,” in response: Okay, so some people hate to read. Some people aren’t book people. But some writers apparently also hate to read. On the New Yorker‘s Book Bench, Macy Halford writes: [William Giraldi] teaches writing at Boston University, and has been amazed at how many of the kids possess a passionate urge to write without also possessing an urge […]

Shop Talk |

Literature, drop by drop, on dripread

For those of us trying to sneak reading into our busy lives, DailyLit is a great resource: choose any of its 1000ish titles, and it will email you a snippet a day until you finish the book. (See our blog archive for more details.) But what if you want to read something that’s not in DailyLit’s library–or if you’ve already read all of DailyLit’s titles, you speed-reader, you? Enter dripread, which functions in much the same way but, in addition to a library of titles, allows you to upload a book of your own choosing in ePub format. Says the […]

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We're going to miss almost everything

NPR commentator Linda Holmes has a beautiful essay on how we’re going to miss almost everything—and why that’s okay: Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It’s the sorting of what’s worth your time and what’s not worth your time. It’s saying, “I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.” It’s saying, “I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I’m not going to read this one.” Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time […]

Shop Talk |

Reading Bad: why writers should read "bad" books

Most writers agree that in order to write, you must also read. Author Allison Winn Scotch raised this point in a recent blog post titled just that: I think being a successful writer means reading your peers and learning from them too – I can’t tell you how much reading authors whom I admire has helped me up my game. Additionally, I think it’s hard to get into a literary state of mind without, well, being literary. And Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan agreed, saying in an interview (via): My advice is so basic. Number one: Read. I feel like it’s […]

Essays |

The Confusing Pleasures of Reading Saul Bellow, Pt. 1

In this two-part essay, Daniel Wallace devotes himself to the work of Saul Bellow for a season. Total immersion in Bellow’s progress as a writer reveals the perplexing philosophical problems at the heart of many of the novels, the difference between early and later books, and the unadulterated beauty of Bellow’s paragraphs.

Interviews |

The Humpbacked Minaret: An Interview with Mahmoud Saeed

Over the past six decades, Iraqi writer Mahmoud Saeed has used his novels, stories, and nonfiction to deconstruct the political and social turmoil of his beloved homeland. In a wide-ranging conversation with Stephen Morison, Jr., Saeed describes the difficulties Arab authors face in getting published, the institutionalized barriers to freedom of expression, and his constant attempt, through fiction, to “solve the puzzle of man and his actions.”

Shop Talk |

Supreme Court justices: secret fiction lovers

We seldom think of judges as writers, but as any lawyer will tell you, written decisions are the bulk of the court’s work. Recently, the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing published interviews with the SCOTUS justices (as they’re known in legal circles), and surprise: many of them appreciate reading, especially fiction, as the basis of good writing. NPR reports: “The only good way to learn about writing is to read good writing,” says Chief Justice John Roberts. That sentiment is echoed by Breyer, who points to Proust, Stendhal and Montesquieu as his inspirations. Justice Anthony Kennedy loves Hemingway, Shakespeare, Solzhenitsyn, […]