Thursday, January 05, 2017

On Books and Reading & possibly a new hobby for 2017

I discovered a new website this week: Literary Hub

I've shared a few articles on facebook the past couple of days, but today, I started reading an article that inspired a post about one of my Grandmothers.

Doing a final edit of the post, I realized it's too long for a facebook post and realized I haven't made a non-crafting entry into this blog for awhile so why not put it here instead?

Inspired by the article "What Romance Fiction Can Accomplish: On the Passion and Pleasure of "Light" Reading"

My Grandmother, Yellow Nana, my Dad's Mom; was an avid consumer of Harlequin Romances.  There was always an ever-changing box of them out at the lake.  With these, plus a box of Reader's Digest, plus a box of my Mom's books, there was always something to read out there.

In grade seven, our English teacher assigned us to read and do a book report, once a month, for the entire school year.  I had mine completed by the second week of September.  I was always looking for something to read.

That January, for some reason, [I didn't know it at the time, but I was already firmly entrenched in my Seasonal Affective Disorder, my January Blues], I set myself the challenge to read one Harlequin Romance a day. By February, I could identify the formulas for the different categories.

Nana wasn't a fan of the supernatural or sci-fi romances but there were generous helpings of the not-traditionally-pretty and scrappy heroine, the independent heroine [as much as there could be in that genre, after all they always did end up with a man], and a sprinkling of the erotic read.  I've never picked up a Harlequin Romance since but, there were the seeds of the independent, yet sensual, career woman I became.

As an adult I graduated to Danielle Steel, amassed a collection, shared them with my Mother and Sister until I learned her formulas and became jaded against "the same ol' story".  In recent years, culling the book shelves to make room for the craft room stuff, Danielle Steel has become the fodder for our Altered Art creations.

Once I was over Danielle, I delved into the likes of Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Tom Clancy, and Anne Rule and thought I left the romance novel behind.

In the mid-'80s on a recruiting trip to the back of beyond, some isolated part of Northwestern Ontario, Northern Manitoba or Saskatchewan, and looking for something to read I happened upon LaVyrle Spencer.  And thus another collection began.

I haven't read one of her books for over a decade but when the great cull happened, I gave up my Stephen King books but couldn't part with my Lavyrle Spencer's.  Her books don't make it into my annual revolving list of series authors but I can't give them up either.  She's in the shelf with my Margaret Atwood and, my smaller, Alice Munro, collections. Maybe it's time to re-read some of them.

I'm wondering if 2017 may be the year of Literary Hub being my "go to" website instead of Bored Panda?  The language is denser, the thoughts more profound and frankly it stretches and hurts my brain reading some of the articles but, today anyway, that feels like a good thing.

It's too easy learning new things by reading the internet.  When you stumble across something you don't know, a quick highlight, right click, "Search Google for ____" answers the question.  Thus, today I learned the meaning of and how to pronounce "Synecdoche".  I also glanced at the incredible list of Literary Devices and got excited about a whole year's worth of learning!

Yesterday I got caught up in and shared on facebook:



There's so many place to go and read:


There is one section Lit Hub Daily, which, as the title suggestions is a Daily list of about a dozen links to literary related places on the 'net.
Every Saturday though, is a "Best of the Week:" compilation, a slightly longer [I'm guessing to appeal to the leisure of the weekend of "normal" people] list of the Daily links. I wonder how that is determined?  "Most Viewed", "Most Shared"?

All in all, a huge, HUGE collection of intellectual, brain stimulating writing on one of my favourite, life-long pleasures. I've been casting around for a "new project" since the demise of my World of Warcraft involvement.

Himself once observed that every two years or so I change focus of my hobby. When we lived in Churchill it was "Cooking for the Freezer", when we first moved to the farm I learned all about Landscape Gardening, then it was Yoga for a few years.

My first move to Thompson was swimming with intellectually and physically challenged kids, the second Thompson move was Air Cadets and the third, taking a three year long night-course on Management and Supervision.

There were a few years of Paint Shop Pro graphics and a couple of learning to CSS code our own farm website, the internet saved my sanity during the first decade of living as a disabled, physically challenged, isolated person.

Yes, I'm thinking that a 2017 year of Literary Hub would be good for me in more ways than one, and pleasureable to boot!

Think I'll start by learning the definition of and how to pronounce:  lucubrations and Why Calvin and Hobbes is Great Literature.

Who are your favourite authors?  Do you have a list of annual or occasional "re-reads"?

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