A few ramblings about knitting, mainly vintage stuff and other bits and bobs

Monday, 6 June 2016

Finding the words to say . . . What?

I want to try and play with words again and see if I can make them make sense for other people. I want to write stories. I love language: the way people use (and abuse it), the tempo, the timbre, the nuances. I love the way that words feel. I shocked myself this morning though, when I realised how small my spoken vocabulary has become. I don't consider myself to be particularly eloquent but have always imagined that I got by pretty well but I found myself using 'amazing' several times when talking about the exploration of the Pacific by Polynesia peoples. What they did was amazing but there were other ways I could have described their ability to cover vast tracts of water. I was disappointed in myself and wish to find a way to use more, and better suited words. But how to go about such a challenge?

My bookcase is relatively light. I have some books I have returned to throughout my life - Littlenose; The Moomins; The Bone People; Victory; Jude the Obscure; The Gone Away World; Wolf Hall; Terry Pratchett is always there as is Iain (M.) Banks and of course my enduring love of vintage knitting books, but I have so few books.

Some people suggest that reading helps develop stronger language skills, but I am not a great, nor vociferous reader. I can read, and am not afraid of a complex or challenging read, but I am not one of those that always has a book on the go. Perhaps I should try to read a little more to see if it can help. I enjoy a wide range: science fiction, some fantasy, quite like modern fiction and dabble in the classics, will gladly open a book on poetry and non-fiction is something that I do enjoy. Yet where do I start? Many of the those that grace the best sellers lists I find dull and poorly written. The stories derivative, the characterisations unimagined and the language ungainly and more about the author than the story. They seem to have been written with the soul purpose to fill up critics list of 'must reads' but I wonder if the critics have read them.

I think that I am going to ask random strangers and friends to recommend a book for me to read and see if that expands my words and helps me write more myself. I know that there are those "100 books you should read before you die" type of lists but I find them a bit unoriginal (not the books, the lists) and I've probably already read many of them. I really would like to find new authors and stories so what is on your 'best books ever' list? And what do you think I should read next?

1 comment:

  1. I love reading, and I prefer urban fantasy, sci-fi and steam punk. For a light, amusing and thoroughly enjoyable read from a word artist I'd recommend Gail Carrigers books. She has written two shortish series. I love the way she plays with the language.

    For a truly fantastic read from an author who knows how to create atmosphere, paint scenery and tug at the heart strings I'd recommend The Lions of Al-Rassan and Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Key. Both books are fantastic and two of my all time favourites.

    I'm also very fond of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross. This is an urban fantasy series, the books are exciting and well written, and he combines the more everyday horrors of office life with horrors from beyond time and space very well indeed :) If you like these and want more recommendations drop me a line on ravelry or something (vintagegranny), and I'll dig up more :)