Season 3 Episode 5: Elisabeth Van Der Meer & Dave Astor on Why Should We Read The Books We Do Not Want to Read

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, science-fiction writer, science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer and co-writer of the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey said:  “Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.

Today we are working magic by bringing together Porvoo, Finland,  Montclair, New Jersey, and Vancouver, British Columbia.  Elisabeth Van Der Meer and Dave Astor have joined me in  connecting three times zones within seconds to bring you a discussion on “Why should we read the books we do not want to read?”

We are entering a new adventure in podcasting here at Tea Toast and Trivia.  Thank you to Elisabeth and Dave for taking the plunge with me.  And a very special thank you to Don, my techie, who is in the background making this happen.

Welcome Elizabeth,

A Russian Affair – Elisabeth Van Der Meer

Welcome Dave!

Dave Astor on Literature

Thank you for joining Elisabeth, Dave, and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.  And a very special thank you, Elizabeth and Dave, for adding your insights and suggestions for embracing books that we never thought we would read.  

Listeners, you can connect with Elisabeth on A Russian Affair. You can connect with Dave on Dave Astor on Literature.  There is always an adventure in reading waiting for your arrival on Elisabeth and Dave’s blogs.

Until next time, dear friends, be safe and be well.

Darlene Foster on Travels with Amanda Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

  1. Darlene Foster on Travels with Amanda
  2. Klausbernd Vollmar on Ugliness
  3. Paul Andruss Reading Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer
  4. The Trio on the 2021 Book Challenge
  5. Elisabeth Van Der Meer & Dave Astor on Why Should We Read the Books We Do Not Want to Read

74 Comments Add yours

  1. Klausbernd says:

    It’s my experience with reading that it’s important to read books we do not want to read. I was and I am forced into the reading of books would never think of reading by my editors and agents and when I was a child by my mother and grand-parents. I notice, I only learn from books that don’t fulfil my horizon of expectation. F.e. I would never read fantasy literature or chick-lit but when I did a learned a lot about style, about the design of plots and how to fulfil the expectations of your readers. I have to admit I hardly ever read for the content – except in non-fiction – I enjoy the style of a book, how it’s written. I just finished a well-written American classic “Stoner” and really enjoyed to understand how Williams produced such an intensity.
    I choose the books I read from reviews in my favourite papers like The Guardian, Die Zeit etc. The problem with recommendations of blogs and other social media is that most of them recommending books of their friends and quite often the reviews are horribly unqualified. Unfortunately, in social media, we don’t have a standard of quality like in ‘decent papers’ or radio and TV programmes.
    Thanks for your talk I really enjoyed.
    Wishing you all the best
    Klausbernd
    P.S.
    By the way, dear Elisabeth, I know Porvoo quite well. I had a girlfriend there when I was working in Finnland.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Klausbernd for the introduction to Stoner – I just found and downloaded the book. The reviews are exceptional and I am looking forward to the read. I have come back to fiction in the last 2 -3 years, so I am playing a “catch-up” game on books that I should have read a long time ago. Maybe now is the opportune time. My father loved non-fiction books and I grew to respect the hours of research that went into these types of books. But I am finding that fiction require the same type of research. Writers have an awesome responsibility to record our time. And readers have the responsibility of engaging with writers. This is a wonderful conversation, Klausbernd. Thank you so much for your thoughts and recommendations. Let’s continue this conversation….

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Klausbernd says:

        Dear Rebecca,
        I have the feeling that reading mostly books one likes is like discussing with people sharing the same ideas as oneself – why discussing? Too much affirmation is not only boring it makes one stupid. Of course, it matters what the reason is for your reading. Why does somebody reads? This dertermins what and how one reads, doesn’t it?
        It seems to me that a lot of readers prefer to read older or old fashioned book but have problems with modern and post-modern novels f.e. Does that mean that they don’t want to be confronted with the zeitgeist? Is reading escapism?
        The fiction bookmarket is dominated by crime and fantasy at least in Europe nowadays. What does that mean?
        Anyway, these are just some questions about our reading behaviour. Thanks for inspiring me to think about reading behaviour again and for our conversation.
        With love ❤ and 🤗 🤗 hugs
        Klausbernd 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Dear Klausbernd – I am going to digress and tell you about a woman that I met on my travels that told me how many beaches she had visited during her lifetime. She knew the countries where the beaches were located and was able to expound on the marvels of the beaches. This is the recollection that comes to me every time I chose a book. Beaches are great, but so are mountains, rivers, and busy city centers. I enjoy reading, but what I most love is to feel the emotional excitement of exploration and learning. I have noticed that books and movies have gone back to mythology and folklore for stories. Are we looking for identity or is it a continuum of collective memory? Thor’s hammer, Jason’s Golden Fleece. Add to that, the integration of technology into these stories. These questions are exciting and stimulating. Something that keeps me reading….
        Sending many thanks to my dear Friends the Fab Four of Cley.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Dave Astor says:

        Great comments, Klausbernd and Rebecca!

        Excellent point, Klausbernd, that reading different genres always teaches us something, even if we don’t end up being fans of every genre.

        Also, it’s true that books recommended in blogs and on social media might be books of friends of the person doing the recommending, but not always. I have mentioned a few books by friends in my blog, but focus 99% on books where I’ve never met the author (in some cases because they’re long deceased 🙂 ).

        Rebecca, it’s wonderful that you’re catching up on fiction — and it’s true that many novels are the product of the kind of research that’s the foundation of many nonfiction books.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. elisabethm says:

      Such a coincidence that you know Porvoo! I had a boyfriend there and now I live there;-)
      And I agree that it is not always easy to find reliable reviews on social media.

      Liked by 5 people

    3. Klausbernd, you comments about enjoying the style of a book, how it was written, more so than the content caught my attention because I read for that as well. A few years ago, a colleague recommended Jim Harrison’s work–he wrote Legends of the Fall–and I was in awe of his craftsmanship. I kept stopping to reread various passages and think, How did he do that? I started reviewing the books I read a couple of years ago, and I felt eminently unqualified to do so, particularly poetry collections. I ended up falling back on critical analysis because that was what I was taught as an English major.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Klausbernd says:

        Dear Liz,
        thanks a lot for mentioning Jim Harrison. Quite a while ago I read “Legends of the Fall” and was amazed how much he can tell on such few pages. His style seems to me modern and old fashioned at the same time.
        Well, concerning qualification. I studied old and modern Scandinavian Literature and linguistic and taught it. In my seminars for advanced studies the students had often amazingly brilliant ideas. Education is, of course, important but we are often in our field of expertise over-educated which makes us unfree.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That was exactly my reaction to “Legends of the Fall” as well. Harrison broke with much of the “show, don’t tell” convention–and it worked!

        That’s an interesting comment about being over-educated in a field of expertise making us unfree. I chose to end my graduate education with the master’s degree because all the literary theory in the whole wasn’t going help me write fiction any better. I just needed to sit in my chair and do it.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Klausbernd says:

        Dear Liz
        I was a specialist for neo-structural text theory and for something quite different, for illuminated manuscripts of the 13th c. I come from the theory and never thought about writing fiction. But I did write novel just for fun and as it became a seller I went on writing fiction and non-fiction full time. Actually, a friend of mine had send my manuscript to a German publisher as a surprise. And indeed I was surprised.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. You are incredily accomplished, a real Renaissance man!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Rebecca, Elisabeth and Dave…this podcast epitomizes what our blogging community means for me. I could comment on the richness of each and every statement and never come close to adding a jot or tittle. Thank you each for introducing to your followers so much wonderful literature and history. This technological wonder brought me even closer to our global community of book lovers. Following Elisabeth’s love for Russian literature helped me move into 20th century Russian writers, as I recently finished Solzhenitsyn’s In the First Circle, a book I would not normally have wanted to read. Dave’s admiration for George Eliot encouraged me to start with her Adam Bede the kind of story hardly appreciated in my youth! Congratulations on an outstanding podcast!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that you joined the conversation, Mary Jo. I am delighted that you mentioned Adam Bede, which I have added to my “to be read” listing. There is one quote (you know how I love quotes) that drew my attention to this book. I have downloaded the book on Kindle.
      “What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?” George Eliot, Adam Bede

      I have grown more courageous in my reading because of our remarkable blogging community. You must read “Three Apples Fell From the Sky.” A profound and joyful read. Thank you again for your encouragement and support of TTT. Many hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        Thanks so much for the very kind words, Mary Jo! 🙂 I share your love and admiration for the blogging community many of us are part of.

        Great that you’re reading “Adam Bede” — George Eliot’s amazing debut novel. And “Three Apples Fell From the Sky” is definitely on my list. Also, thank YOU for the novels you’ve recommended in comments under my blog. I’ve gotten to a couple, as you know, and hope to get to some more. And of course I greatly enjoy the compelling poetry on your blog.

        Rebecca, you always find terrific quotes, and Eliot’s is another powerful one. Thank you!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I just realized with you last sentence, Dave, that many of the books that I have read – both fiction and non-fiction – began with a quote. If one or two sentences can inspire, the book will be electrifying.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Mary Jo Malo says:

        I just read that section in Adam Bede! And I just put your recommendation on my TBR list! You are always welcome. 🤗🤗🤗

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Klausbernd says:

        Dear all,
        it very interesting how Rowling as Robert Galbraith uses quotes in her crime novels. By staying with one book or author she takes the quotes from she inspires her readers to read this book or author as well. Especially well done with the Ibsen-quotes.
        Keep well
        Klausbernd 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Clanmother says:

        I have never read Robert Galbraith, Klausbernd. Which book would you recommend?

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Klausbernd says:

        Dear Rebecca
        Robert Galbraith is JK Rowling (Harry Potter) writing her Cormoran Strike series. I like most “The Silkworm”. “The Coocoo’s Cry” is okay as well but I find “The Silkworm” best as she sets it in the publishing business.
        Happy reading, big hugs
        Klausbernd 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Dave Astor says:

        I LOVE the Cormoran Strike series, Klausbernd! (I’ve read the first four.) The dynamic between Strike and his assistant-turned-partner Robin Ellacott is terrific!

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I’ve just added “Three Apples Fell From the Sky” to my reading list. The discussion brought to mind Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World,” which is one of my favorite short stories. Esteban . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Clanmother says:

        You will enjoy “Thee Apples Fell From the Sky” Liz. It was an absolute delight to read. I will be looking for “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.” So many books so little time – we we never run out of adventures.

        Liked by 2 people

      10. “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is a short story. You should be able to find a PDF of it online, as it is regularly taught in literature classes.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. elisabethm says:

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed the conversation! I agree, the blogging community is great. It’s an inspiring, stimulating and positive place, and I’m very happy to be a part of it. I have to admit that I have not read Solzhenitsyn myself since university, but he did make a lasting impression on me.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Clanmother says:

        I just finished On Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, an excellent read all the way through. What I found most interesting was that Nikita Khrushchev allowed the book’s mass publication in order to undermine the influence of Josef Stalin. Vitally Korotich (Elisabeth – do you know this writer – I never heard of him before) wrote that “the Soviet Union was destroyed by information – and this wave started from Solzhenitsyn’s One Day.”

        Liked by 5 people

      2. elisabethm says:

        I had never heard of Vitally Korotich. That is a fascinating theory! I did know about Khrushchev allowing the book. It goes to show once more how important books are in Russia, and that they influence politics and daily life, whether they are banned or not. The power of books!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Dave Astor says:

    Thank you, Rebecca, and thank you, Elisabeth, for the wonderful conversation about literature! Reading novels outside our comfort zones is not only mind-opening — but so enjoyable!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you and Elisabeth joined me on this podcast. I will always remember that you took my recommendation to read Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock. I remember reading the first sentence: “Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark-blue convertible.” I was 9 years old. The idea of a new dark-blue convertible was irresistible. I never thought that only a few years later, that I would think that a VW Van with flowers painted all side with the word “peace” would be the ultimate. Time moves on…

      Liked by 5 people

  4. What a great podcast, Rebecca. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Dave and Elizabeth. It was interesting to hear Elizabeth’s comments about Russian literature. For me, I have always been very open minded about the books I read. As a young girl I read a peculiar mix of books including Fattipuffs and Thinifers, Helter Skelter, I am David, as well as adult books like Stephen King’s The Stand, The Shining and Salem’s Lot. I used to read Charles Dicken’s with a dictionary and look up the words I didn’t know. I’ve never forgotten those words. As an adult, I read a wide variety of books including poetry, family drama, horror, a smattering of sci-fi and romance. I am a fan of dystopia and I love classics in every genre. My favourite reads from last year were The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and The Great Divorce by CS Lewis. This year, All Quiet on the Western Front is my favourite read to date. Overall, I really love John Wyndham of The Day of the Triffids Fame, She by Rider Haggard, and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Oh, I could go on and on. Thanks for this wonderful conversation Rebecca, Dave and Elizabeth.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Dave Astor says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Robbie! 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation with Rebecca and Elisabeth — they are such learned, friendly people. And I’m VERY impressed with the wide variety of literature you’ve read as a kid and as an adult. (I happened to have read “She” a few months ago — quite a strange, vivid, page-turning novel!)

      Liked by 5 people

      1. As someone who lives in Africa, Dave, I love Rider Haggard’s descriptions of the African scenery. The ending of She, where she ages and shrivels away to nothing gave me nightmares for weeks when I was a kid. I have Catch-22 coming up as my next classic novel. My son recommended it to me – he is an accomplished reader too.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Dave Astor says:

        Robbie, I’m pretty sure Haggard lived in Africa for a while, and it shows. And, yes, the conclusion to “She” was something else. I guess things usually don’t end well when one is 2,000-plus years old. 🙂

        Great that your son is an avid reader! And “Catch-22” is a hilarious, searing novel.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Robbie, I can also highly recommend Catch-22. I read it years and years ago, and I remember being gratified to learn the origin of the phrase “Catch-22.”

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Clanmother says:

      Good morning from sunny Vancouver (it has been days since we saw the sun and feel its warmth) Thank you for joining the conversation, Robbie. All Quiet on the West Front was my 2021 entry book. As Dave mentioned your depth and breadth of reading is extraordinary. I was amazed that you read Helter Skelter at such a young age. Sister Agatha (I think that was her name) was endowed with a special understanding of what you were able to read. I am grateful for those who shared their love of books and reading with me. And my gratitude goes to you for writing. I’m looking forward to reading your latest book “A Ghost and His Ghost.”

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Hi Rebecca, I hope you enjoy A Ghost and His Gold. That book has a piece of my soul in it. It is intended to unravel some of the history and background to South Africa and its politics as well as the relationships between its various peoples.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I have A Ghost and His Gold on my reader!! I am looking forward to this read!🤗🤗🤗

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I really hope you like it, Rebecca. I will be most interested in your thoughts. I hope I have managed to share the emotional conflicts and anxieties of the time period. Everything in this book is as it was during this particular war.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Well done Rebecca and Elizabeth and Dave — and Don too. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you joined the conversation, Teagan. And a big thank you for introducing Robbie and her books. Sending hugs on the wing back with all speed.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Dave Astor says:

      Thank you, Teagan! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Klausbernd says:

    By the way “She” by Rider Haggard was one of the favourite books of C.G. Jung. He, as well as Emma, quoted it several times in their studies of the Anima archetype. I like to read St. King’s novels as well. Years ago I studied his book “On Writing” I can recommend for everyone wanting to write suspense.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I have just downloaded “She” and am looking forward to the read. I just read the blurb. How did I miss this book? YIKES!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        “She” is an eye-opening read, Rebecca, and very worth the time! I hadn’t been familiar with that novel until one of the regular commenters ((jhNY) under my blog highly recommended it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have a second edition copy of She, Rebecca. I read it [again] when I went on a business trip to Botswana a few years ago. Customs were suspicious about this old book I was carrying around in a plastic bag for protection as if it was a piece of gold. My favourite parts are the descriptions after they are shipwrecked. The writing is gorgeous.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Dave Astor says:

      Klausbernd, VERY interesting that “She” was a Jung favorite. Not totally surprising, when one thinks about it… 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    3. I have read On Writing and now have the audio book so that I can listen to it again. Stephen King’s earlier books were amazing in their detail and complexity. The Stand is my absolute favourite followed by The Shining. So clever and chilling.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Paul Andruss says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-way discussion. Three participents add an extra frisson, sparking off the conversation in new directions, an amazing amount was covered. It found it quite exhilerating as indeed I did with the further conversation in the comments below- a sure sign of success is the quality of the comments. It was thought provoking to look at why we choose books to read and what new insights books you would normally never read can give into the human experience, and how that prepare you to handle events in your own life. Three thoughtful speakers Rebecca- a great job. Congrats to all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that joined the conversation, Paul. I agree wholeheartedly that when there are three in a conversation there is an added layer of complexity that comes with three perspective. Wouldn’t it be interesting to add a fourth voice!? While virtual meetings are happening more frequently, capturing a full conversation is an exciting challenge for Don. His focus is keeping the clarity of voices which invite listeners to engage. And then there are the differences in internet connection that can blur or scramble voices. He is looking forward to many more of these conversations. Many thanks for your encouraging comments.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        Thank you for the very kind words, Paul! Glad you liked the conversation. 🙂 I agree that three people talking adds a really nice extra dimension.

        Rebecca, if you ever decide to have more guests on a particular podcast, I’m sure Don could work his production magic to make it happen. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Don just said tonight he had a breakthrough and four is possible!!!!!

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Dave Astor says:

        Wow, Rebecca! Impressive!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Paul Andruss says:

        A 4th voice woman… my goodness that would be an opera!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Paul Andruss says:

        Not only a opera- but a GRAND opera indeed! This sounds like a lot of fun

        Liked by 1 person

    2. HI Paul, lovely to see you. Some books give you a clear insight into the workings of the human soul. It can be very intense to read about the impact of war on the mind. I am going to be exploring PTSD for my next South Africa based book which will focus on the Anglo-Zulu wars.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Paul Andruss says:

        Excellent Robbie, for me it is all about stretching constantly as a writer and this sounds like a bold and exciting venture that you are undertaking. By the sounds of it, it will be a powerful and raw internal character narrative. I would love to hear about the journey you go through in writing this. I believe all creation produces a number of conflicts in the author and the final written work is actually the path the writer chooses, or perhaps is even forced, to take to resolve those conflicts that give personality to the characters and life to the story arc itself. I wish you all the best with your new work. Exciting times ahead.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Thank you, Paul. There were parts of this book that were difficult to write as the history was traumatic and I felt like I was living it with the characters. Thank you for your lovely words.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Darlene says:

    What a great podcast. Of course, I love discussing books at any time. Many times I´ve been recommended a book which I’ve been reluctant to read. But most times I have been so glad I did! I am also a very eclectic reader and like to read outside of my comfort zone from time to time. Books have saved people from boredom, sadness, fear and uncertainty. I can´t imagine a world without them. Thanks for introducing us to Elisabeth and Dave.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Good morning from Vancouver! I am delighted you joined the conversation, Darlene. You have captured the spirit of reading with “books have saved people from boredom, sadness, fear and uncertainty.” Sarah, my sister, and Frances, my mother were discussing reading and came up with those same truths. We are no longer able to get together under our lockdown, so our conversations have become virtual. Books have become even dearer to us now than ever before. You will enjoy Elisabeth and Dave’s blogs. Always, always a great discussion!

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Dave Astor says:

      Thanks so much, Darlene!

      “Books have saved people from boredom, sadness, fear and uncertainty” — so very true. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Another fascinating discussion and I did enjoy the three-way conversation. Well done, Don. I particularly loved Elizabeth’s observation about how it can help us in different situations when we may have previously read about similar events and seen how the characters in the book have dealt with such challenges. We can glean so much useful information from our reading and it’s miraculous how our mind stores it for future reference. Thank you all for a most entertaining and thought-provoking podcast.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you joined the conversation, Sylvia. I agree – there have been times when I look at a particular landscape, flowers, ocean beach, a crowded street that the stories come tumbling back into my mind. My sister Sarah, shared this quote with me a couple of days ago which mirrors your insights: “Historian Barbara Tuchman on the power of books:“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”Source: The Book, Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Nov. 1980). Sending many thanks!!!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        Thanks so much, AnotherDay2Paradise! 🙂

        And Rebecca, that’s a stellar Barbara Tuchman quote!

        Liked by 3 people

  10. What a wonderful adventure and how cool to have a 3-way conversation with you, Rebecca, and Elizabeth and David. I used to read primarily fantasy. But then I started blogging and suddenly I wanted to read the books from authors in the wonderful community. I’ve expanded into non-fiction, memoirs, historical fiction, psychological thrillers, crime novels, romance. Oh my… the list goes on and on. I don’t love all of the genres but who knew that I’d enjoy memoirs so much, not me! One thing that I’ve noticed is that engaging writing is engaging writing, regardless of genre. For this reason, I’m much more willing to try a new genre or author.

    As a writer, I think reading broadly can’t hurt and more often will make us better at what we do. It’s not important or reasonable to expect everyone to enjoy the same books, but great books are great for a reason and we can learn from them. I liked the comments about reading books that introduce us to other countries and cultures. I couldn’t agree more about the power of books to bridge our knowledge gaps and shrink the world. I’ll leave with a quote from fantasy author George RR Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you joined the conversation, Diana! You have added much depth and understanding to the link between reading and writing. I confess that I left fiction for non-fiction a couple of decades ago and have only come back to fiction within the last five years. (Dave and Elisabeth have been an inspiration to me) I would become too involved (or so I thought) in the narrative and emotional turmoil. But even non fiction carries stories that are tied to the human experience. It was when I read Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives” that I realized that writing, in whatever form – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, movies and now games – challenges us and demands that we participate in the greater story line. We are story – every one of us. What better way to celebrate our story than by living boldly and with courage. I love the quotes “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…”. Perfect benediction to the post!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think we are imaginative, creative creatures and need to engage on that level. And happiness is partly dependent on fulfilling that need, in whatever way speaks to us as individuals. The sky is the limit. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

    2. I had heard that quote, Diana. Thank you for sharing it. I like the notion of having lived so many lives through reading books.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I like that too, Liz. Imagine not having ever read a book. Just that though feels like a huge loss.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I can’t imagine not ever having read a book! It’s inconceivable.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Dave Astor says:

    Thank you, D. Wallace Peach, for listening to the podcast! Great comment! So true that “engaging writing is engaging writing, regardless of genre.” Definitely the case that any particular reader will like some genres more than others, but all genres indeed have something to offer. Last but not least, that George R.R. Martin quote is magnificent.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I got a kick out of Dave’s comments about Henry James. I agree that his short works are more successful than his long works. I will never forget being assigned The Ambassadors in grad school and reading it in 15 minute increments because every time I started reading, I fell asleep.

    Rebecca, if your readers/listeners are interested in reading outside of their comfort zone, I’d recommend the blog Thoughts on Papyrus: https://ideasonpapyrus.wordpress.com/. Diana writes about classic and contemporary literature from a very wide range of cultures.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that Dave recommended “The Aspern Papers.” I loved the Venice location and the gondola rides in the evening. Thank you for the introduction to Thoughts on Papyrus. I have just started to follow her books reviews and thoughts about literature.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, good! Diana writes the occasional piece on works of art as well.

        Liked by 2 people

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