• Francine Cunningham

What I read in March 2015

This month was a bit busy so I didn't get to read as much as I wanted to but I did get through a couple amazing reads that inspired me.

First up (a continuation of my previous list) is number:


Thirteen, Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk: Ok so this book is classic Palahnuik. Which means I loved it. It's weird and eccentric but written beautifully. Every sentence made me want to highlight it but since that would defeat the purpose of highlighting I had to contain myself to only a few sentences per every couple pages. But seriously this book did something with a shifting POV that I've been trying to experiment with for the last couple short stories I've been writing. There is something about an unexpected shift in POV that really appeals to me as a reader and writer.

"I fit a window frame into a brick wall. With a little brush, the size for fingernail polish, I glue it. The window is the size of a fingernail. The glue smells like hairspray. The smell tastes like oranges and gasoline……Your head aches from the glue….you can't concentrate. You can't think."

Another thing that I loved about this book was the repeated line used to describe the characters. "The details about so and so are…" I love that he just breaks through the suspension of disbelief and that fourth wall and hits you with yes you are reading a story written by me and I am just going to tell you somethings. By melding that with a character who is a reporter and would thus think like that is brilliant.

"The details about Nash are, he's a big guy in a white uniform. he wears high-top white track shoes and gathers his hair into a little palm treat the crown of his head."

And lastly we have the classic Palahnuik commentary on the world.

"Old George Orwell got it backward. Big brother isn't watching. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big brother's busy holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed. He's making sure your imagination withers. Until it's as useful as your appendix. He's making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world."

Fourteen, Coming Through Slaughter byMichael Ondaatje. I continued on my Ondaatje kick with his stunning book. Rhythmic. That's what I can say about this book. Also you should read it if you haven't.

"With the upmost curiosity and faith he learned all he could about Nora Bass, questing her long into the night about her past. Her body a system of emotions and triggers he got lost in. Every hair she lost in the bath, every dead cell rubbed off on a towel. They way she went crazy sniffing steam from a cup of coffee. He was lost in the details, he could find no exact focus towards her. And so he drew her power over himself."

Fifteen, The Martian Chronicles byRay Bradbury. I read this graphic novel a couple years ago but had never read the book. I liked it. What can I say. I enjoy my sci-fi.


Sixteen, In the Skin of a Lion byMichael Ondaatje. This book has changed the way I feel about bridges. Forever. I use to be so afraid of them, the heights part anyways, but now, now I am in love with them and want to walk across every bridge I see. There was so much beauty in this book. Languid descriptions. In March almost everyone I sent letters to got quotes from this book.


Seventeen, The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje. Sense a theme here? The poem that hit me in the heart— The Time Around Scars.

FC

ILLUSTRATIONS AND WRITING BY

FRANCINE CUNNINGHAM

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