My Christmas Discovery . . . beyond the gift

Kindle-Paperwhite-3We all love the gift that keeps on giving. As one of my gifts this season, I received a Kindle Paper White. To be honest, I am more of a book-in-hand, page-turner kind of reader. I was unsure, but it took about 15 minutes for me to fall in love with it. Oh, I still read the real things, but this is a wonderful contraption.

As most of you know, I am a rabid John Steinbeck fan. East of Eden is the best book ever written by a single human. Word usage, sentence structure, plot elements, character development, et al. are completely without flaw. I know it is a big statement, and there are others that come relatively close, but it is an absolute masterpiece for the art of writing and the beautiful culmination of years of practice. So, this was the first book I downloaded. I generally read it at least once a year. After I downloaded the book, Kindle suggested authors that I also might enjoy . . . like the little machine could actually place someone in the same category as Monsieur Steinbeck.

One of the cool things about a Kindle is the ability to download a “sample” of a book for free, just to see if you like the taste of it. One of my Kindle’s recommendations was an author by the name of Tom Franklin. Who? Yeah, exactly. So I downloaded a sample of a book entitled Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. In short, I flew through the sample in minutes. Tom Franklin is a breath of fresh air. It is truly a discovery to find a modern writer that is worth anything. Most of the writers today are lazy, adverb-heavy scribes. Now, understand before I make the statement what I have already said about John Steinbeck, but Tom Franklin could be whispered to be at that level of writing. Hard to believe? Read for yourself. I will admit that Tom Franklin still lacks in plot development depth, but that will come in time. He is not a prolific writer. He’s been in the game for quite a while and has only published five books; this tells me that he’s more concerned with quality than being a money machine. Chew on these quotes from his latest:

 . . . the tinkling of his mother’s chime each time the earth breathed its wind.


The land had a way of covering the wrongs of people.


Holding it for a moment he was a boy again, the world it had been a long time ago, a world full of unknowns, a world full of future and possibility, but he reached and set the rifle down stock first in the green velvet oval and fit its barrel in its green velvet groove and it stood there, a thing returned to its rightful place. Silas inhaled, a man now, full of unknowns yet, but, maybe with some future still ahead.

There are writers out there yet to be truly displayed to the public. No, they haven’t written drivel about vampires or dystopian survival, but the beauty of crafting words doesn’t come along that often. Reading truly great writers, one can see from their first work to their last work a pattern of advancement in skill and understanding of the human heart and how to convey and connect with readers. Okay, while I’m on the subject (and by no means an afterthought), I need to mention another modern artist Donna Tartt. Goldfinch is a masterpiece . . . it won the Pulitzer for goodness sake, but ask ten random people if they have heard of her or the book. It contains such mind-blowing word usage and structure. It is a must read.

So, there you have it. I think I’ll kick back with my Kindle again. Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.

6 thoughts on “My Christmas Discovery . . . beyond the gift

  1. A kindle is such a great gift! I am currently travelling and it is so fantastic to be able to take as many books as I want, or if I want to know a little bit more about the place I’m in, to easily be able to download it. Although of course I do prefer “real” books when I’m at home. And also – yes the Goldfinch is incredible!! I recommended it to everyone I knew after I read it. Have you read the Secret History? Donna Tartt ‘s previous book. I read it years and years ago so can’t fully remember but I do remember being really hooked by it 🙂

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