Friday, September 7, 2012

Book By Book

In the beginning of my writing life, I had a powerful love of eccentric characters in modern settings, think all things Salinger or Lorrie Moore.  Ernest Hemingway had always been a strong influence on my writing, as well.  As I grew older, my preference changed, discovering a love for earthy, authentic characters, with a hint of eccentricity, of course.  I dovetailed that with a passion for the Civil War period-- not dates and statistics, but the human element.  It was to me a deeply heroic and tragic chapter in American history.  One author of historical literature, Howard Bahr, brought to life those tragic, heroic, fictional characters with wonderful authenticity.  He ably humanized a time in history rampant with inhuman acts of violence and depravity.  One such book that made me a fan of his writing is entitled The Black Flower.  In the aftermath of battle, the human spirit is still capable of love.  The Year of Jubilo, another Bahr novel, is also a very compelling read.   

Below is a list of my favorite historical literature:

1.) The obligatory Cold Mountain.  Frazier's writing style and language had a tremendous impact on my writing.  Word usage, language, is key to my love of a book.

2.) All Howard Bahr novels

3.) Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles

4.) Legends of the Fall  (and other stories) by Jim Harrison

5.) In The Fall  by Jeffrey Lent

I highly recommend these novels.

If you love Sylvia Plath, you will love this unique and haunting novel by Kate Moses.  The language and unique take on Sylvia's life will stay with you forever.  Again, this author's brilliant word usage is enviable.  I can't tell you how much I loved this novel.  Wintering by Kate Moses.

Again, another haunting read by an author who reminded me of Cormac McCarthy in his writing style and amazing use of language.  The key difference in this particular novel is the author's deeper human connection toward the characters.  I always felt at a remove from many of Cormac McCarthy's characters, but there is no doubt the man is a literary genius.  I loved this novel as well.  The Wake of Forgivenss by Burce Machart.  Looking forward to his other works.

Browsing through my bookshelf, I rediscovered my copy of Mary Emmerling's American Country Classics.    Here's a few photographs from the book published in 1990.  The key word is classics.

Love the painted floor.

Love the symmetry of the baskets and the simplicty of the chair.

Blurry, but love the paint on paneling. Makes me feel better about my dining and living rooms


I love the chairs.  Very modern country.

Just wanted to share this photo of my novel in progress. Makes it more "real" to me when I see it in pictures.  I'm not totally old school; it's on a flashdrive, as well.

xo  Kim