Blissful Escape

Most Interesting Bookstores of the World:  http://www.miragebookmark.ch/most-interesting-bookstores.htm

I love books.  I am still teased today because at family do’s I always had my nose in a book.  It was, and is, a blissful escape.  I escaped so much that I have more memories of fictional characters than of my own childhood.

My mother always warned me that reading in bad light would affect my eyes.  She was right.

I will only touch on some authors and books here because I am not writing a book and it is inevitable that I will leave some out that are just as important.

The last book I read was ‘George Sand A Woman’s Life Writ Large’ by Belinda Jack.  All I will say about George Sand is:  “Wow”.

Right now I am reading ‘The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, written by Himself’.  Only on page 5 but looks like it is going to be fun.

I am also reading ‘If You Want to Write’ by Brenda Ueland on my Kindle.  She draws from William Blake who is, oh, so heavenly.

One of my favourite authors is Charles Dickens.  Nobody else has developed characters as full and rich as he has.

I love Mark Twain.  I have all of his books and letters on my Kindle.

One of the most profound books I have ever read was ‘The Autobiography of Madame Guyon’ by herself, i.e. Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon.  One does not have to agree with her understanding of spirituality to know that she was preciously rare.

Stephen King is an awesome author.  I have only read about three of his more twisted tales but do check out ‘On Writing’.  It reads like a memoir.  I am awaiting my order of Secret Windows Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing. 

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift.  Swift was a master satirist.  The story of Gulliver is about people.  And how ridiculous we really are.

‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck.  Let me quote the Amazon description:  “The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity”.

‘Out of Africa’ by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen).  The opening sentence “I have a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong hills ……” is the beginning of a journey that cannot but stir you deeply.

‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ by Irving Stone.  Michelangelo brought to life.

Wally Lamb writes beautifully.  ‘The Hour I first Believed’ and ‘I know this Much is True’.

One of my favourite local books is The Deneys Reitz Trilogy – ‘Adrift on the Open Veld.  The Anglo-Boer War and its Aftermath 1899 – 1943’.  History is fascinating to me, particularly the Anglo-Boer War.  A better account has yet to be written.  This historical piece reads like a novel.  You feel as though you are in the saddle with the young Deneys.

Dalene Matthee introduced me to the wonders of Knysna, the Tsitsikama Forrest and surround.  Her stories are based on fact and wonderfully funny, complex and spell-binding.  ‘Moerbeibos’ being a favourite.

At a quick glance, the books here mentioned (and ommitted) have a couple of things in common:

  • They are well written, but some were crafted
  • Most of them are amusing, and those that aren’t, still produce deep emotions
  • Many of them were biographical in nature, or based on fact
  • But they are ALL, inspirational

Wish there was more time … … …

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