Hello again and thank you for allowing me to cheat by combining two months into one. August got away from me with frequent trips to Chiang Mai and starting the new school year. I already wrote about it here.
Years ago, I got turned on to micro-memoirs through a short online course. Most folks are aware of short fiction stories, but non-fiction has be relegated to a kind of literary hell, only to be written by the rich and famous.
But we read micro-memoir all the time in the form of social media posts and text messages, Beth Ann Fennelly was simply smart enough to create a collection based on her publications in various literary magazines.
Heating & Cooling was something that I picked at for months, not unlike Seinfield’s Is This Anything? They provided short bursts of amusement and/or contemplation. And both writers inspired me to start my own collection.
What do you think of short-form non-fiction?
Like many, I was surprised to hear that British comedian Richard Osman wrote a murder mystery. His first endeavor The Thursday Murder Club was a lot of fun. His sophomore effort picks up where he left off, and isn’t as fresh as his first, but is still a good read. I can really see this becoming a television series, but what to do with all that inner dialogue?
I think what made the first novel sing was the fact that these geriatrics at an old folks home were being nosy neighbors and essentially solving a murder. More of the same is what we want, but the trick for writers is how to level up? For me, what stood out was when the characters act senile and play up their age in an effort to get their way and pull one over. Not only is it funny, but let’s the reader in on the gag.
Is there an elderly protagonist from a novel that you admire?
After reading The Name of the Wind, I took a break before reading Book Two: The Wise Man’s Fear, but I couldn’t get into it. Perhaps all those hours of waiting in hospitals (see link above) made me more prickly than usual. I don’t know, so I went scrolling through novels that I had on my Kindle but hadn’t read, and this one looked appealing.
The Last Garden in England is a historical fiction by Julia Kelly that follows five women across different times all connected to one garden. It was a little heavier on the romance than I would have liked, but an easy read that turned me on to the preservation and restoration of historical private gardens! As an American, I had no idea a thing like this existed.
Overall, it’s a nice light read, just what the doctor ordered, and now I’m on the hunt for something with more heft. I’ll have to look through past comments and bookmarked pages.
How was your August, and what’s your September been like so far? Read any good books?