Sunday, May 18, 2014

Literature Lane: What I've Been Reading:

Yeah, that's an actual street sign in Melbourne. Holla!
Hello all!

In the past week I've been reading some amazing books! Lately I've noticed that I don't take as much time to read (which is a huge no-no for someone enrolled in a BA in Creative Writing) and I think it was all because, for some strange and likely pretentious reason, I was trying to read books that I had absolutely ZERO interest in. I was just trying to read them because I thought, well I've bought them and they're by an author I like, so I best finish it.

I think it's probably better, when it comes to reading at least, to think like a child and think 'I don't like this, not finishing it!'

I put the hefty tome full of preachy nonsense down and picked up two smaller, yet incredibly impacting, books instead. These were Jack London's White Fang and Paulo Coelho's the Alchemist.

First up; White Fang by Jack London.

I read this novel within two 1.5 hour train trips (that's too and from school) and I couldn't have been more glad that I chose to pick it up. It really re-sparked my passion for reading, which was a little low at the time (I get a bit shellshocked after reading 'bad' or uninteresting books, and end up frightened I'm losing my love for literature, which is silly. I know).

White Fang is the story of a grey wolf and the transformation which takes place inside his head as he moves through the different phases of his life. It begins from a human perspective and then smoothly transitions into that of the wolfs point of view. White Fang is born from two pack leaders, his mother is a fierce wolf-dog, his father a one-eyed wolf. As he grows White Fang begins to learn the simple, yet often brutal truths of the world at large - particularly the human world.

Through the Wolf's eyes the reader is transported to the attitudes of the natural world. We can see where our patterns of human over thinking take us, and how we might ignore them, if we were wolves, and just live...

I'd give this book a 10/10 any day.


Next up; the Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo:

A small but intriguing and powerful story. The Alchemist follows the tale of a literate Spanish shepherd, who became so 'to travel'. A chance encounter with an ancient king sets him on the path of his personal legend and with nothing but some money and two stones taken straight from biblical stories the shepherd travels to Egypt and the place he will find his treasure.

This was such a moving book, I already have a list of people I want to lend it to. It's also made me think I should start doing that thing where people leave books in coffee shops. To be honest I feel like giving THIS book away would be like giving away a part of my soul, but I might actually buy a new copy of it in order to do so.

That coffee-shop book thing needs to become a thing again.

Seriously though, another 10/10. This book (sort of) changed my life.

Xo, Ellen