Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ann Dowsett Johnston

As a young person I had difficulty concentrating to read, I wasn't a good student, unless it involved art or creativity. Fortunately, my ability to sit long enough to absorb what I read, has greatly improved over the years. I suspect I was, and still am a little ADHD. Though, when I did read, I enjoyed it, but I missed out on what I feel are too many reading opportunities that I have tried to catch up on and right this situation, as an adult.

 Over the past few years, I have made it my goal and intention to read more non-fiction books, wanting to familiarize myself  with some of the great writers, past and present, such as Scott Fitzgerald, and Michael Ondaatje . I did manage, The Beautiful and The Damned, which I have to say, left me a little flat, as it was rather depressing, nor was it what I expected. I kept waiting for it to pick up, but it didn't and there was no happy ending in this morality tale.That said, it isn't perhaps his best work and want to read The Great Gatsby, which was his most popular.

 More often than not, the book is always better than the movie. I can't comment on this particular version of The Great Gatsby, but have heard a few very good reviews, in praise of this recent film.

 Recently, I have made a request through my local library, for Ernest Hemmingway's, A Moveable Feast, and I am really excited about reading it, because I am enamored, and fascinated with this era of time, and it being a memoir of Hemmingway's experiences in Paris, when so many amazing artists were living, and just hangin' out with one another in the cafes. Oh, to have been a Parisian fly on the wall!
 Who knows, I might even attempt James Joyce's Ulyssess, but I'm not ready for that, but hoping to one day, in the future, I will be!

Rationalization for the decision to read more fiction, was because of my interest in writing, to expand my knowledge, and familiarity with writers who create non-fiction throughout history, up to the present day, and to become more informed of the present day writers. I believe it to be very true, that if you want to learn to write, it helps greatly if you are one who reads a variety, and a plethora of books, if at all possible. I can't say I am making as much head way in achieving my goal, but I am working away at it page by page, one book at a time. It feels great to be excited about reading.

Generally, I have been a reader of non-fiction, self-actualizing kinds of books. Frankly I've gotten a bit tried of myself reading all this personal growth shit, and really wanted a change of imaginative scenery so to speak. I've learned that what you read affects your creativity, and the art you create.

Inspite of, old habits dying really die hard, God only knows, being an alcoholic with 18 years in recovery, I can't help being drawn to non-fictional writing, and I'm always on the look out for new books. In particular, I appreciate subject matter about spirituality, creativity, alcoholism and recovery.  I wanted to share in this post, about someone I've learned of recently, Ann Dowsett Johnston, a writer/journalist, and recovering woman who has written I believe, to be a very compelling and important book, Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. You can also view this video on Vimeo where she gives an comprehensive interview, on the Global Television morning show.

Okay, well until Ernest's book arrives I'm diving into One Writer's Beginnings, by Eudora Welty, that my dear friend who knows me all to well and the books I love to read, sent in the mail, and it just this hour arrived in the post!
Don't you just love that handle of a name, Eudora Welty? I think she was a beauty!


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