Wednesday, October 20, 2010


What about the readers?

Last night at my book club meeting (I am a part of this club, not a guest author), I paid particular attention to what caught their fancy as they were reading this month's selection (not a mystery). Of course, as with all readers, we each had aspects that we liked or disliked but in general, for a change, there was a unanimity in disliking the choices made by the protaganist. It certainly made for an interesting discussion and from there we branched off into several lively topics.

I took that to mean, whatever you're writing, as long as the writing is compelling and solid, people will read and form an opinion, and hopefully, remember mainly that it was well-written.

The eye-opener came when trying to agree on a book for next month. Some of our members around the table remembered snippets of plots but had great difficulty when it came to titles and authors. Thus, several suggestions sounded vaguely familiar, some titles grabbed our attention, while some author's names rang a bell....until a short description was read aloud. At that point, whatever we thought we remembered about the book, whatever expectations we had of that outstanding title, or the type of book we'd attributed to that all went up in flames.

So, I got to wondering if after all these hours, weeks and months of sweating words and phrases, of building character's lives and settings, if the product of all that is so easily forgotten....why do we do it?

OK...I do know the answer to that. We write because we love to write and feel the need to tell the story. And readers read because they want to enter new worlds,to realize that wrongs can be righted, to be entertained.

I'm sure you can add many more reasons to both lists. But, I'm wondering, what book stands out in your mind and why?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase


  1. no contest about the book that for me leaps ahead of all others - 100 Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Marquez - the magical realism, even in translation, continues to inspire me in not just writing, but living

  2. My favourite is Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. Absolutely fabulous complex plot and vivid descriptions of 1600 London. Also To Kill a Mockingbird.

  3. Catch-22 is the first one that comes to mind. It changed the way I looked at the world. What a great question!


  4. What a varied & interesting list -- thanks!