I’m eagerly awaiting my flipback version of David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas,” which I ordered directly from Hodder & Stoughton on June 30. So that’s why you haven’t heard about it yet.
I check my front stoop a few times a day hoping for the package–especially because I just finished rereading “The Cure for Death by Lightning” by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. That book was recommended by a friend of a friend years ago, and it was great fun to rediscover it. Anderson-Dargatz fuses mythical elements and Native American lore with an honest coming-of-age story set on a Canadian farm during World War II. I especially love the detailed descriptions of the mother’s scrapbook, which she fills not only with recipes and articles, but pressed flowers, dirty fingerprints and handwritten notes.
In any case, I’m ready to choose my next book. Sometimes I have to set fiction aside if it’s interfering with my writing. I began “Tinkers,” the incredible debut novel by Paul Harding, this fall, when I was in the initial development phase of my historical novel. After a chapter or two, and with great sadness, I had to abandon Harding’s masterpiece because its strong voice and compelling story were interfering with my creative process. I was afraid I’d mimic his work in some way. The book did, after all, win the Pulitzer Prize in 2010–and from the breathtaking first few chapters, I could see why.
Now that I have my historical novel established, and the first draft halfway done, maybe I’ll try reading “Tinkers” again–that is, if my flipback doesn’t arrive in the mail today.
In related news, I received a gracious note from Arthur van Keulen of Jongbloed BV, and he said he’ll be sending me a few flipbacks. I can hardly wait! Once Arthur’s package arrives, I plan to hold another giveaway contest so a lucky commenter can win a flipback. So stay tuned! And in the meantime, if you’re unfamiliar with the pocket-book phenomenon, check out the “flipback” category in my sidebar to learn more. Arthur has been an exemplary source of information about these books, known as dwarsliggers in the Netherlands, where they debuted in September 2009.
So what are you reading right now? Is it hardcover, paperback, an ebook or an audiobook? Does reading interfere with your novel-writing or is it easy for you to separate the two pursuits?