What a pleasure it is to read a good book by a Canadian author. “#Road Ends” by Mary Lawson is set near #New Liskeard in northern Ontario and London, England in the years between 1966 and 1969. Road Ends chronicles the lives of various members of a small town family that includes
As an avid reader I should probably belong to at least one book club, but I don’t. The reason is that I simply love books too much to try reading one that’s not a total delight. #Book clubs provide wonderful social and intellectual opportunities for readers and I think they are incredibly valuable instruments for meeting people and enrichingyour mind. However, they’re just not for me. While reading a book that’s not of my choosing might expand my mind, it also shortens my life and becomes too much like homework. It reminds me of plodding through Return of the Native in high school. I could have been reading something I loved instead.
One of the first questions I ask people when I meet them is, “Do you read much?” and “What are you reading now?” I love to hear the answers as I frequently get excellent recommendations. And it’s a great ice-breaker for interesting conversation. I could never understand the appeal of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was predominately recycled information and hardly qualified as ground-breaking. So, when I heard there was a discussion about the book at a local bookstore, I decided to go and see what I was missing. Only two people showed up – me and another woman. Even the facilitator was M.I.A. The evening did turn out to be worthwhile however,
Alice Munro is without doubt a very good author – after all she recently won the Nobel Prize for literature. The thing is – and I’m embarrassed to admit this – I just don’t get her. In an earlier blog posting, I applauded her winning the Nobel Prize and was as proud as any Canadian could be. It motivated me to dig out my hard-cover copy of her latest book, “Dear Life” and give it another shot. About three-quarters of the way through the book I gave up – again. While her stories of the people and small town places in southwestern Ontario ring familiar, I find them tedious and depressing, which, as someone who grew up in a small Ontario town is understandable. But her story lines and writing style fail to make me want to turn the page and keep reading. If someone could explain why she was Nobel-worthy I’d be very grateful.
I’m just a simple lover of books, not a student of literature, an academic, a critic or probably even all that smart. So there’s obviously something I’m missing. There are so many other Canadian authors I like better than Alice Munro which makes the criteria for selection from the world-wide pool of Nobel prize contenders even more incomprehensible.
The answer I think lies
Once upon a time I considered writing a book to pass along the wisdom I’ve acquired in 66 years of living and more than 40 years of working for a living. I roughed out a draft, gave it a title, “Broad Perspectives” (nice play on words, don’t you think?) took some creative writing courses including a great week-long mentoring programme at Humber College last summer, and never really got the show on the road. Intimidated by the prospect of dozens of rejection letters in my future and no one actually listening to me, I decided to blog instead. And I love the medium. No editors. No censors. No critics I can’t handle. No R.O.I. to consider. Just me and whoever cares to tune in to BOOMERBROADcast.
So here’s the thing. If I had my life to do over, there are many things I would do differently, both in business and personally. Not a whole lot, as my mistakes and wrong turns are part of what makes me the fabulous person I am today. But with some tweaking, life could have been an easier, more satisfying journey.
The differences in parenting styles between how we Boomers were raised back in the olden days and the approaches by today’s young parents always makes for lively conversation. I can’t believe we’re actually saying things like, “Back when we were young,” but it truly is so very very different from today. I won’t detail all those differences here as most of us are now grandparents and first-hand witnesses to the contrasts.
Surely we were as precocious and entertaining as kids today are. We must
Canada’s own Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature is just about the most exciting thing that could ever happen in the literary world. As Canadians, as women, as readers we’re thrilled that she has been recognized on such a prestigious level. But the best part is that her writing celebrates simple, every day life in southwestern Ontario.
I’m looking forward to going back and re-reading her stories, particularly