Book Review(s): Motherless Brooklyn, Zen in the art of writing

That's right, one post two reviews. Both books were great reads and I found that I did very little note taking. Bottom line: Read both.

Zen in the art of writing by Ray Bradbury
Books and blogs about writing have been really getting my attention. I'm still on the "read about writing" kick. Zen in the art of writing was a book of essays by one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury. I actually comment on it a previous post. The essays zip along and give the reader a number of exciting looks into Ray Bradbury's genius. This book, all my favorite writing blogs, and even Time to Write all have something to offer when it comes to writing. In fact, the more I've read about writing, the more I have written. I think the beauty of learning about others' writing habits is that you get ideas on how to develop your own. It's all been helpful.

Zen is a short book and although it certainly called for more notes, I only took one: "Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all." (p. 108)

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Strangely enough, this book also included the theme of Zen. This book was a delightful read. Just as I was getting down on the various New York books, this one came along and made me happy.

The protagonist, Lionel Essrog, has Tourette Syndrome and is an orphan in Brooklyn. He goes on the hunt for his boss' killers and finds himself in quite a web of deception. His search takes him out of New York City, something he's never done before.

I couldn't peel myself from this book and found myself totally engrossed in its story. My favorite parts were some of the Tourrete outbursts. It's also interesting to hear what comes along with the tics - the swearing, the mangling of language, counting, tapping, fixing collars, etc. But either way you slice it, a lot of it was hilarious. I'm not sure if the author meant for it to be that way, but it was for me. I even caught myself thinking a couple times - "Man, it'd be awesome to have Tourettes!" I know it really wouldn't be that great for a lifetime, but maybe just for a day or two.

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