Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can I take a moment...

To expound on my great love for Sara Gruen's "Water for Elephants"?

Yes, I am about six years late in reading it. I generally shy away from any book that gets many accolades and ends up on the NYT Bestsellers List. Actually I avoid anything that is popular. As an aside, I have a confession to make: I have not and will not read the Harry Potter books.

So if you have not burned me at the stake for such a confession, allow me to go back to "Water for Elephants." My roommate/boss has the ultimate book collection (which is housed in my rented room), and since the movie is coming out this month, I thought I would give "Water for Elephants" a read through. I was holding my breath. Since becoming active in writing forums and on writing blogs, I have found it extremely difficult to read most of the books that I check out at the library. Either the writer's style doesn't click with me or the characters are not compelling. I have been extremely upset by this given that I have always been a voracious reader.

Needless to say, I finished "Water for Elephants" in 24 hours. It was a beautiful novel. The writing was fantastic and I'll venture to say that I hope one day to perfect that style. It was the perfect blend of creating a vivid world (and compelling characters) without getting bogged down in the language. It was just effortless. I kept thinking that there would not be a happy ending--it seems a book that good rarely has one, but I was completely shocked (and pleased) to find that it did. Now I am excited about the upcoming film and hoping (most likely in vain) that Hollywood has not mucked it up (cough: "Confessions of a Shopaholic"). Since its release coincides with my 29th (why cruel world?!?) birthday, I think I will be treating myself...or allowing someone else to treat me, which ever comes first.

So... What books have inspired you? Both as a reader and as a writer?


  1. Thanks for the review - this is the next book I'm due to read after the current one (Possession by A.S. Byatt). Now I'm really looking forward to it! Definitely need to read it before I see the movie :)

  2. Thanks for the review--I confess that I, too, have avoided this book due to its popularity. I keep getting burned by bestsellers--especially historicals.

    By the way, I only just read Harry Potter this winter. Again, was avoiding. But--I have to admit it was easy, transporting, enjoyable escapist reading. I honestly didn't think I'd like it, and though I wouldn't list it among my favorites now, it was nice for cosy winter evenings.