Monday, March 21, 2005

Flying through the books

After reading Truth and Beauty, I knew I needed to read Lucy Grealy's book, Autobiography of a Face. While fantastic, I can't compare it to Patchett's work. While Grealy came out of her ordeal a changed person, she still retained her keen ability to fantastize about her life. This book left me wondering about other people's views and made me wonder why Lucy was so withdrawn from her family. She had a twin sister and yet she was barely mentioned in this book. All in all though, I'd recommend this book to anyone. It is thought provoking.

The next book I read was John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley: In Search of America . This book was selected by my book club and WOW! what a great book. Many many things said by Steinbeck are still true today. Travels With Charley came about in 1960 when John Steinbeck decided to reacquaint himself with America after being away because, in his own words, "I've lost the flavor and taste and sound of it. I'm going to learn about my own country." In turn, he decided to set out on a journey across America with his dog, Charley. Along the way, he met many facinating people and engaged them in conversation, observed his country and took the time to ponder. Each night he returned to his truck and recorded the day's events.

And finally I finished reading, Torture the Artist by Joey Goebel this weekend. A friend had mentioned that she was going to read this book after listening to a story about it on NPR. The topic peaked my interest and I had to read it too! If you are a Chuck Palahniuk fan, then I highly recommend this book. If you are a fan of true art, then I highly recommend this book.

The basic premise is that in order for one to be a "true artist" then they needed to have lived a tortured existance. In order for thie premise to be true, a wealthy media mogul devises an unusual scheme: to bring true creativity back in all art forms, writing, music, etc. He creats a company called New Renaissance and uses it to take a group of young creative geniuses who are isolated during their formative years and carefully educated in the arts, at the same time undergoing systematic deprivation of the happiness most people enjoy, resulting in a surplus of angst-generated creativity such as the world has never seen.

At first the concept seemed a bit sick to me but after reading this book, it raises such a point that today's entertainment is manufactured and without artistic ness. It also makes you wonder what lengths people will go to create what they want.

Only 20 more books to read this year! So very close!