Read and Write

I look at my watch and crunch the numbers, and decide to keep going. One more. I have time. Besides, it’s a short chapter. Kind of. Everything else can wait.

Actually, the decision was made for me. I had to read more. Besides, I wasn’t really reading but consuming the book page by page. And I was ravenous.

I wanted more. More of the words which formed a running movie in my head. So, somehow in my crammed schedule, I stole time to read some more.

All you readers know just what I mean. I’m sure you could name a book or 30 that grabbed you like this. You rush to the end but are sad when it comes. Or maybe you slow down as you approach the conclusion savoring each scene, page, and word. When the end comes, you are both sad and exhilarated. For those of us who are also writers, maybe — like me — you feel a pang of jealousy and awe. You hope that you move people as you have been moved and are blown away by the writer’s skill.

I recently read Johnathan Tropper’s One Last Thing Before I Go. I became aware of Mr. Tropper while reading a review of one of his books at One Last Thing Before I Go focuses on a man in his 40s. His life is screwed up both personally (divorced, very distant relationship with his daughter) and professionally (after being the drummer of a band that had one hit song, he periodically plays weddings and bar mitzvahs). He gets the news that he must have surgery, or he will die. He decides his life is not worth saving. However, before he goes, he sets three goals: be a better man, be a better father, and fall in love. The book is about his uneven pursuit to fill these goals. There were moments of humor, sadness, and downright lunacy which encompassed both. I lost track of how many times I read a line or scene that forced me to ponder and think, “I wish I would have said that.”

Ultimately, this book made me feel writerish (I know that’s not a word, but I am using it anyway. For anyone who used to listen to Richie Ashburn announce Phillies games, this is a tip of the cap to him; he used to periodically announce that a particular batter looks hitterish.) I added a few chapters to the novel that I have been writing in my head. I have a short story idea that I will be pursuing. I already stole an idea for a recent blog. I am in a writing state of mind.

So, grab a copy of One Last Thing Before I Go byJonathan Tropper. But be prepared to change your schedule.

40 thoughts on “Read and Write

  1. The books that do that to me… FOR me… are the ones really worth reading, and I gladly take time for them. The other ones (ahem, my attempt at Fifty Shades of Grey…) I can never seek to find time to finish. I love being inspired by a fresh, new book.
    And I like your word “writerish.” I think of Mark Twain who made up all sorts of new words in his writings. And he was one of the greats.

  2. This is one of my favorite authors! If you haven’t already, read “This is where I leave you” when you have a few “extra” moments! And yes, I have exactly the feelings about reading and writing you described so eloquently!

    • Cool. I will read that one. Now, I have Everything Changes. Did you read that one? What about the one I referred to in the post – have you read it yet? If so, what did you think? Btw, he reminds me of Richard Russo? Have you read any of his work?

  3. I remember back in the school that the perfect time to sit down and read a book was during the summer. To be able to sit down and read true works of art by James Clavell, such as Shogun and King Rat, or Aztec by Gary Jennings, were perfect to take advantage of lazy days. Papillon by Henri Charriere is another fantastic read that I would recommend. These books draw you in from the first page to the last, and I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed. I’ll definitely take a look into One Last Thing Before I Go, and just wanted to say thank you for the support.

    • Its funny I cant remember much about the book King Rat but I do remember that I really liked it alot. It is nice to be able to find time to read a book that you enjoy. If you get to the book I reccomended, let me know.
      Btw, since you were service, what are your thoughts regarding the scandal w/Petraeus? What a fall!

      • Oooo…. that’s a touchy subject. Not because I don’t have my own opinion towards it, but because politics and anything military related, such as this, are usually closely monitored and I have to be careful with what I say. All I can really say about it, is that I hope we can move past this and get the ship upright.

  4. I completely do this with books. Where I fall into another universe and I cannot do anything but read each page in a frenzied rush to see how it ends. But then it ends and you’re sad that its over and you do kind of wish you had read a little slower savored it more. I’ve never been a patient person and reading is no exception! I’ll definitely have to look for the book myself!

  5. That sounds great – am going to suggest it at my book group tonight! LOVE when a book grabs hold like that, and inspires. And yes, I do get unnaturally morose when I finish a good book – I miss the characters and mope around a little bit…

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