Writing Prompt: The Book List

As you may have noticed through some of the other pages on the site, I’ve started a new book list for 2009. As I go through them, I’m writing down what I finish and adding a review. So far, I’ve read “Candide” by Voltaire (for the 20th time), “Fire in the Blood” by Irene Nemirovsky and “Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne. I’ve loved all three in different ways and I highly recommend them all. Particularly the last one on the list. I read it on train journeys to and from work over two days. Having finished it tonight, it left me sad, a little shaken and with the total conviction that I’ll read it again. It was beautiful and although it ended in the only tragic way a book on that subject could, I didn’t want it to end. I’ve just picked up “Crooked Little Vein” by Warren Ellis and I’m sure it too will be completed in a matter of days, judging by the speed at which I’m turning the first few pages.

I’ve always been an ambitious reader. I make lists, set targets; I’ve spend thousands on books throughout my life and I’m proud of the little library I’ve collected and stacked on the dark wood shelves around me. There are some books there that I’ve had for years and never got around to, this is their year.

Tell me, if you could get through ten books this year that you’ve always wanted to go through, but never managed, which ones would they be? What is it about them that attracts you? Is it a recommendation, a genre, the author, the storyline? What we read speaks volumes about who we are. What does your list say about you?

From the books above, I’d say I’m a tragic-romantic prone to the darker side of life who appreciates irony….

Writing Prompt: The Book List

Writing Prompt: What would you do?

As we reflect on our lives, we can take two views, the things we have done and the things we would wish to do. Sometimes, when the world is going a hundred miles an hour and I’m consumed by the stresses of the day’s events, I forget that there is still much to do. It’s so easy for each day to run into the next without my notice and I have slow down and think about my private ambitions.

When I’ve had a series of bad days, when I’m tired, I feel weak or sorry for myself, I remember that I’ve done a few things of which I can be proud.

Try making a list of 10 experiences that have affected who you are, things that have shaped your perceptions or how you relate to the world. This is easier said than done, since it requires reflection and honesty.

Next, list 10 things that you would like to do in your life. They can be wishes or goals, anything that you can think back on and say with confidence, “I’m glad I did that”.

Here are a couple of mine:

What I’ve done:

  • Hiked up to Mt. Everest base camp
  • Flown a plane over a glacier
  • Stood up to someone in a fight

What I’d like to do:

  • Write a book
  • Disappear completely and travel for 1 year
  • Learn German

The key thing to remember is that you don’t have to show anyone, just write it down and be honest.

Writing Prompt: What would you do?

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