Making the Ordinary Extraordinary in Literature

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Long time no blog!
I am working on being a better blogger, new month new me!
I preach about consistency, engagement etc. and do none of the above so I am definitely working on that.

For my Goodreads reading challenge, I pledged to read 30 books this year, which might seem so little for some people and it looked like so little to me at the time; it has proven difficult. I am nine books behind schedule and have probably read only seven books this year, which is a bit embarrassing for me. With school, work and a whole bunch of personal drama I did not have any motivation to read during the winter so I decided summer was the month for it even though I have been busy this summer. Things have slowed down now, that is why I would be concentrating on blogging among other things.

List of books I read that have impacted my life
Life after Life
A Sport and a Pastime
Where’d You Go Bernadette

Honorable Mentions
Crazy Rich Asians
Gone Girl

I read many stories admittedly that do not come in book form, I will not go into more details but I am sure the 2 people reading this can connect the dots. I have found that these “amateur” authors often like to exaggerate the excruciating circumstances the characters find themselves in. Often times the storytelling becomes tedious. Personally, and speaking as a normal individual with no real writing background I feel that kind of story telling is lazy. If you have to exaggerate to get your point across I feel, it is lazy writing. Put people in normal situations and normal conflicts and see how these characters fare. I mean put ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Take the normal and play with it. Some of the books I have read have really shown how far you can go with this in mind.

Life after Life

This book was one I literally flew through which by that I mean flying through all over 500 pages of it. The heroine in the story is in a unique situation. I do not want to give too much away but the story is the title. The main character dies and is reborn several times and by doing this, her story changes. Sometimes even the most insignificant detail in the past life results in the change in another life. Makes you realize that every little decision you make in your life is significant and could affect the people around you.

A Sport and a Pastime
Funny enough I encountered many essays this year about James Salter (the author) and I decided I had to read one of his books. This essay convinced me. While reading, because the writer talks about blue a lot I found myself seeing blue everywhere in the novel. A Sport and a Pastime depicts an affair between an American and a French Girl narrated by the anonymous first person narrator. This is what makes the story unique, we know the narrator is French and a photographer but we never find out what his name is. While reading the book, sometimes I wondered if the narrator is in fact infatuated with Dean who is the American involved in the affair. I am sure you can read many reviews that accurately describe the book in better terms. No doubt, James Salter has a magnificent way with words.

Where’d You Go Bernadette
I really enjoyed this one. The characters seem to come to life even outside the pages of the book. Everyone whose story is heard and everyone we encounter is significant. It tells the story of a young girl whose mother goes missing right before their trip to Antarctica. I will say the story is about Bernadette the mother. The book does well in illustrating the imperfections of human beings and how flawed we as humans can be. I am a fan of encountering flawed human beings in literature because I find it easy to relate to, I do not want a perfect person. It shows a daughters love for her mother regardless of her imperfections and mistakes. It is funny and the characters are hilarious. The book is mostly made up of letters and email correspondences, which makes it unique.

Crazy Rich Asians was a crazy ride! The characters are outrageous, the situations are out of this world and I loved it. I enjoyed the footnotes I know it bothered some but it helped me understand a lot and the food, oh the food!
Gone Girl I read very early in the year and it is part of my honorable mentions because it was also crazy and had the crazy twist everyone talked about and the crazy psychopath characters. When I first read it, I HATED the ending but as months went past, I realized its brilliance.

My point is these authors have found ways to make ordinary extraordinary in literature and my readings have made me appreciate literature and its many talented story writers.

See you next time! This was a long one.

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One thought on “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary in Literature

  1. Pingback: Chance Romantic Encounters and Before Sunrise | deconstructinglife

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