Oh, the irony!
So, on to Blog post 2 . . .
Studying copious literary works and analysing them during my English degree all those years ago killed the passion I felt for the written word. It took a long while to recover the love. In fact, I’m not sure I ever have. But not to be deterred I embarked on my challenge to read the 10 Greatest Books Ever Written.
I realised the other day that the first (and only) time I read DON QUIXOTE (a shortened version) I must have been about sixteen. The unabridged version is not a difficult read, but it’s a long one, full of references to historical/fictional figures and events of which I have no knowledge. Every time I picked up my Kindle I panicked, and tried as I might I couldn’t avoid counting the number of page clicks to read 1% of the book (for your information, 40). Not a great start.
But I finished it!
Admit it, you’re impressed. It has taken me under two weeks to read the whole book, aided by the fact that due to Christmas I took a break from working on my own literary masterpiece. Crack open the bubbly!
What is Don Quixote about (in 20 words)?
Turned mad by reading chivalric romances, a nobleman from La Mancha, Spain, decides to right wrongs and defend the helpless.
So is Don Quixote the best book ever written? It’s debatable.
Here’s a thought-provoking list of what I’ve learnt. Make of it what you will.
- ‘Don Quixote’ is full of irony. At its best it’s comical. At its worst, it’s annoying and ridiculous.
- For its time I understand how ground-breaking it was for Cervantes to write in prose rather than verse and to use all aspects and devices of modern writing. BUT
- Give me Shakespeare any day. Verse and all.
- Self-publishing is mentioned (and in a positive way!)
- I expect to feel something when I’m reading a book. I want to be moved, not just bored.
- Really, Cervantes needed a good editor, or a constructive friend. Someone to tell him to get to the point. This is a book that hasn’t, in my opinion, stood the test of time.
- From memory, I thought the donkey had a bigger part to play. I miss the donkey.
- Did I mention how looooong it is?
And so, on to the next great read. Number 2 on the Greatest Reads list is -
IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME by Marcel Proust.
Imagine how my heart sank when I saw that it has SEVEN VOLUMES!
Six volumes too many for me. However, I think Proust was an introvert, so perhaps a kindred spirit?
I will attempt the first volume and see where it takes me. I really don’t want to be searching for lost time for too long . . .
Are you up for the challenge?
See you on the other side.
P.S. BOOK SALES
As the end of the year approaches I thought it would be useful to give those of you who are or who want to be children’s writers/self-publishers an idea of how sales have gone this year. Paperback sales continue to outperform e-books, as expected. To date I have sold in the region of 8000 pbs this year, as opposed to 1300 ebooks, and 117 audiobooks. Most of these on Amazon. Not bad for a children’s writer with no traditional publisher behind them. I hope this provides hope for the wearied writer. SHADOW JUMPER was published mid-2014 and I have sold in the region of 25,000 books since then. Something worth celebrating . . . where’s that bubbly?