Monday, March 1, 2010

Musing Monday..Better Late Than Never.

I am a bit late today posting my musing. I took a quick unplanned trip to Washington D.C. this weekend, got home late and had to go to work very, very early. Gee, I hope this muse makes some sense. I am very sleepy...So lets head over to Just one more page and check out this weeks question.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a story format.

How do you feel about books written in a differing format –whether this be journals or letters (epistolary), verse novels, or any other form? Is this something you enjoy? Or do you prefer straight forward chapter prose.

It is very easy to get in a reading rut. As with many things in life. We tend to go with what we know, what seems comfortable and familiar. For many of us, it is also true of what we pick to read.

I have mentioned before that my first love, my comfort reads, are mysteries. I could probably even pin down my tastes more. I like police procedural perhaps best, especially ones set in interesting places. Well, interesting to me, like Iceland or Scotland, the Pacific Northwest, New England...or anyplace cold and near the water.
Is that a little too confining, do you think? Even I think it

One of the thing I like most about blogging and having access to books and reviews of books I would never have read in the past, is getting me out of that rut. Part of that rut is the format. Yes, I feel most comfortable with a straight prose book. But I am willing to venture out and in the hands of a good writer, it should not be an issue. In the hands of a bad writer, I think it can be a mess.
I have read a couple of books set in an epistolary format and liked them quite fine. In fact, one of my favorite books last year, 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society', was set in the form of letters and I think it worked perfectly for that book. Still, I admit I remain rather conservative in my book format taste. Stream of consciousness leaves me rather cold usually. Finnegan's Wake comes to mind. I am sorry Mr. Joyce but I did not get that book at all. Personally, I think you may have been playing a joke on us. A bit of it in a book is fine and even a whole book if the author is up to it. But it is not my first choice.

And I must admit that I draw the line at verse. In fact, if an author throws a short bit of verse or a poem in an otherwise prose work, my eyes tend to just pass right over it. I am not sure why, but I am not a fan of poetry. My experience and enjoyment of poetry is limited and will in all likelihood remain that way.

Come to think of it, I am pretty darn comfy when I am in my little prose mystery rut.


  1. Loved Guernsey too. I read a couple of YA book written in verse and they were good which suprised me!

  2. You know what format you should try? An e-book.

    (Insert evil laugh here.)

  3. I'm totally with you on the format conservatism!

  4. Jenners, I will have you know I HAVE tried reading on an e-book. one that was owned by someone else of course...but I did. so there!!
    They are not bad to read on..if you are not concern with betraying the entire history of books and publishing. :-)

  5. Yet another verse-ambivalent reader here...I just can't enjoy a novel written in verse. Admittedly, I have not worked at it, but I read for my own enjoyment and my own enjoyment does not equal work LOL!


  6. Lol, you left out windy/stormy in your description of places you like to read about.

    I'm with you on the stream of consciousness crap. I can't stand it. Brings The Lie by Fredrica Wagman to mind. The s-o-c and the repetitive phrase "ten fat penis fingers" I practically ran away screaming! Sheeesh!

  7. I know what you mean about the rut. In my response, I talk about how I happen to read the same format and if I then read another, it takes me a minute to get into it - but I bet it's not so much coincedence that I read the same format, so many boooks in a row...

    I, too, love mysteries!

  8. there is a lag time in getting used to a different format. but then, these days, a lot of things lag...

    Kaye, "ten fat penis fingers", that is quite an image...


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