Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Starbucks Dog Book, and Starbucks

I recently blogged about the rise in popularity of literary books about dogs. Included in my post was mention of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I didn't know anything about the book other than its premise, but today learned more from an article in the current Poets & Writers. The angle of the article (which I recommend) was the long road Stein took from his first book to this, his third. The article also mentioned that several agents and editors rejected the manuscript, their reason being, "I can't sell a book about a dog." It had to smile.

The things I overhear at Starbucks every day while writing is simply amazing. I'm going to attempt to make it a daily blog feature. Today's entry: two male friends from high school and now back from their first year of college catch up over coffee (iced--heat wave!). One boy brings along his girlfriend he met at college. They had intelligent (though at times naively judgmental) conversations about world politics, US politics, and college ragers. More interesting, though, was that it truly was a dialogue, they weren't simply telling the other why they should think a certain way, but explaining nuances. And the other person was receptive to it.

I think I noticed this because in the portion of Straight Man I read to Bryan last night (we sometimes read books aloud to each other, and are currently working through this comedic novel), narrator and English professor Hank laments the sad state of his department, where no actual exchange of ideas takes place at faculty meetings. Rather, opinions are lobbed like grenades (or the metal end of a three-ring binder, which Hank's nose is impaled with during one particularly heated meeting). It is so true that comedy highlights truth.

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

So I just read a great book, called Tatianna, by Linda Mohr. I knew I was instantly connected to this book when I read the first few sentences.
I recently went to a seminar and the trick to reading books was to read the first few sentences, the last few sentences and by that you will see if you like the book. I've started to try this process and bought the book, to then read it later and love it.
I know if i'm going to be engaged in a book or not by the first few sentences.