My library books are always late, too

I’m so with you on the To Kill A Mockingbird, always linked with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in my mind, probably because of the crucial role of big, slow blokes in both. Or maybe just because they both feature birds in their titles. Also great movies for each, but not comparable to the impact of the books.

Grapes of Wrath and Cry the Beloved Country are also linked in my mind for their extraordinary structure and pathos. And unlike the above books, where the story lines are paramount, the films for Grapes and Wrath and Cry the Beloved Country could never come close to transmitting the power of Steinbeck’s or Paton’s prose.

For a rich childhood, I don’t think you can go past C.S. Lewis’ seven Narnia books, nor, at about 12 or 13, The Lord of the Rings.

The kids are waking up and my mind is starting to wander now, so I’m just thinking about books I’ve enjoyed and read over and over (like Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale) and books I’ve been obsessed with for a while (like anything by or about Rebecca West or VirginiaWoolf or even Karen Blixen in my late teens and early 20s earlyfeminismwassomuchbetterdressedthan70swomenslibbers phase). I still love Return of the Soldier and Night and Day and of course A Room of One’s Own (I wish!) – but don’t think I could go back to Seven Gothic Tales – maybe when I’m a grumphy old lady with time to wade through difficult prose…

One more addition in the Books The Made Me Wish I Could Write Like That list: William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive (and probably Idoru, too). Given that these days my brain just can’t deal with much more than speculative fiction, I still get a kick out of this description of Ratz the bartender, with his ex-Russian military issue metal arm, being described thus:
“His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it.”

Children are now demanding food, husband is providing, dirty looks are starting to come my way; the world has moved on since I started writing this and I need to move with it. Out, out of the library, and back to the kitchen…