Books From My Closet

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Archive for the tag “New York Times”

The Circus Is Over

Hello Dear Followers,

I finished “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern a few days ago. Sadly, “American Wife” by Curtis Settinfield is still not finished.

What I wanted to share about “The Night Circus” is when you finish it, start over and re-read because I found the author wasn’t clear about a lot of parts in the book leaving me confused and having to go back.  Or trying to remember why certain parts were being said again, if they were said before.

The author would do short chapters to give clues and  leave you guessing more, but you never found out what the significance was, and by the time you did, if you did, you didn’t remember it anyway.

I can see why The New York Times didn’t rate this book a best seller, you are often confused by what is happening most of the time, at least I was.  I was trying to figure out what the connections were of the people involved and why certain events happened.  I was very confused most of the time.

The good points of the book  was that it kept you wanting to read more, it had excellent life lessons throughout and like the circus itself, it reminded me of a dream.

The love story in the book was intense towards the end and lovely, but the author didn’t clarify I don’t think at least, what happened to the couple or how they got to be where they were.

I have always wanted to go to a circus and I love hearing about the circus during the turn of the 20th century, and the 1920-30s.  There is something magical about that a time period in history, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

I think that is why I loved “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen so much, I love the time period it was in.

So basically, re-read again if you have read it already to get a good handle on the story she is trying to tell and you may find you will enjoy it even more.

Until next time…

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Hello Dear Followers,

When I think letter writing I think of it as an act of  romance, something so personal and in the 21st century, so lost in the age of e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, texting and the internet as a whole.

As many of you have read in my previous post, I am reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”  and the book is not made up of chapters, but rather of letters between several characters in the book, which at first I thought was great, then I thought well this could take a forever and hard to keep up with who is writing to who.

But as I have gone on, I can see why it was done this way, because I can’t see how else the two authors would have conveyed this story, how they would have properly introduced these characters as they have.

While the ability to communicate with people far away from us has gotten a lot easier, far easier than our parents,  grandparents and great-grandparents for that matter, it lacks personality and lacks the proof that someone dedicated the time to write  a letter with an actual  pen and paper.

It is so easy to send off an e-mail, often times without thinking. I’ve done it. Often times we don’t even realize what we are writing because we are in such a hurry to get on to the next thing in our lives, we don’t stop and think of our words.

I’ve always been old-fashioned and very nostalgic in many ways, when I was 13 or 14 years old, I wrote letters to all my friends who were near and dear to me at the time, many thought I was odd, because what 14-year-old spends the time to write an individual letter to someone?  That would be me.

When I was 18, I wrote an e-mail to a boy I liked in high school telling him how I felt, you could call that both ballsy and very 21st century.  That was the way people began to communicate, how they expressed themselves.  Writing a letter with a pen and paper began to be long lost memory.

I returned to the art of writing a letter (via pen and paper) a few years  later to someone I felt was of great importance to my life at the time. It felt more personal, I felt there was a deeper connection because I had taken the time to write several drafts before I could perfect what I wanted to say to this person.  It was me, it wasn’t an e-mail set up by the internet  it was just me, a pen and paper.

This art of letter writing is fading, Andrew Lam, author and editor of New America Media writes about this exact topic in a  blog post “The Lost Art of Letter Writing” on the  Huffington Post.  

“For the rest of us in this age of mobility and information, there simply isn’t any time for such a thing as a long, flowing, hand-written letter. I am no exception,” says Mr. Lam in his post.

Catherine Field, an I.H.T Op-Ed contributor of the New York Times says in her Op-Ed piece “The Fading Art of Letter Writing”:  “Letter-writing is among our most ancient of arts. Think of letters and the mind falls on Paul of Tarsus, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Mark Twain; on love letters written during the American Civil War, or letters written to a parent by a frightened soldier at the battlefront.”  

There is a ton more on this subject, because it is clearly something we don’t do in a digital age. And I am someone who loves digital as the next person, but I think we should revive this lost art and bring it back to something more personal, romantic and connected.

Don’t you agree?

Until next time….

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