Wednesday, May 9, 2007

All roads lead to books! At least that's how my synapses work. Frank Lloyd Wright designed only one synagogue in the United States and I read yesterday in my local newspaper that this building has been designated a National Historic Site. Thoughts of F.L. Wright immediately lead me to Howard Roark, Ayn Rand's archetype of the "perfect man" made famous in her classic novel The Fountainhead. I seem to recall that back when I read this book for the first time, I got it in my head that Roark was supposedly loosely - or not so - based on Frank Lloyd Wright.
It just so happens that a few of my more erudite co-workers, also new to blogging, are going to hold an online book discussion of The Fountainhead and, though I begged off by pleading too many overdue books, some of you readers may want to tackle it. To learn how this all came about follow the link to
Meanwhile, I'm treating myself to some book candy. This week Alice Hoffman's Skylight Confessions graces my bedside table. She never lets me down! You could line up excerpts from 20 books - kind of like a blind tasting at a winery - and I'd pick out Alice Hoffman's writing every time. There's something very distinctive about her deceptively simple style that just grabs me from the first page. I always get such a vivid sense of foreboding yet I never seem to intuit what's going to happen next. How does she do that?
Francine Prose in her latest book, Reading Like a Writer, talks about the beauty and difficulty of perfecting an austere writing style where every word counts. Think Hemingway, (though she uses a passage of Flannery O'Connor's to make her point). Prose says that we must read slowly and methodically if we are to discover the "crucial revelations in the spaces between the words." So THAT'S my problem. I'm just going too fast.

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