I've been on a reading binge. At one point last month I had two dozen library books stacked up on my nightstand. At that point it was all nonfiction. I was doing research for Central's debate squad. I read a lot of books about the Black Power movement.
But then I needed a break. I needed to read something that was just pleasant to read, so I picked up Salvation on Sand Mountain, by Dennis Covington. Great book. The writing was so simple and straight forward, yet Covington managed to convey some mighty deep thoughts with his plain language. Plus it's full of snakes and Southern accents. No way to lose with that.
So Covington got me back into reading again. Not simply amassing knowledge and insights and info, but escaping into unfamiliar lives and places through words.
Last week I finished Baldwin's Go Tell It On the Mountain. I'd tried a couple of times before. It took some work to get through. Baldwin's writing seemed old fashioned, a bit over done, though consistantly beautiful. I particularly admired the book's structure, it's frame of a mere day or two that tied together entire life histories of several characters. It'll help, I think, as I ponder my second book project.
And now I'm reading Nadine Gordimer's latest, Get a Life. It's absolutely exquisite. I can't even begin to contemplate emulating Gordimer's writing. It's in a whole other realm. It's one of those books to sip slowly and savor.