Monday, May 3, 2010

I'd call it a sabbatical, but that's not entirely true...

My apologies for the lengthy absence, but I've been very busy the past month with "for profit" writing and simply haven't had much time to maintain the blog. But that is changing and it starts today! Moving forward, I will make time to at least write a quick post on a scheduled basis... although please keep in mind that my ducks are never in a row and we'll just have to see how it all goes.

I'm an idealist. Ideally, I'll make a post every day. This world is not idealistic. I'll have to settle for a couple of times a week. Not this week, though. This week I'll be posting every day. It shall be an ideal week... at least here in my little corner of the Internet!

Having been out of the blogging world for a bit, I just noticed that Elana Johnson has "Celebrate the Awesome" going on today. This is a celebration of our personal A-list books and I have one that I'd personally like to spotlight.

My favorite contemporary writer is Colson Whitehead. I'm actually reading his "Sag Harbor" novel right now (well, not "right at this very moment"... I'm talented, but not THAT talented!), and it certainly qualifies as some awesomeness which deserves to be celebrated, BUT... that's not the work I'd like to spotlight today.

"The Intuitionist" was Whitehead's debut novel and tells the story of Lila Mae Watson, an elevator inspector who practices the Intuitionist method for conducting inspections. Given that this is an informal blog, and not a review destined to appear in a magazine or newspaper, I feel comfortable saying that if someone had told me ten years ago that one of my favorite books of all time would be about an elevator inspector, I'd have probably run him over with my car. Just kidding (need to make sure you're still reading...). Okay, I would not have committed vehicular homicide, but I definitely wouldn't have believed him.

Well, maybe I should have listened to that fictionalized, hypothetical seer.

The story itself is more than interesting enough (authentic characters, major conspiracy/corruption and compelling mystery), but it's they style which really captivated me. Whitehead's writing is fresh like a jar of peanut butter opened for the first time. He is an original author and the book inspires me to become a greater writer. "The Intuitionist" makes me want to bring my "A+" game and that is, in my opinion, the definition of an essential book. "On the Road" is my all-time favorite and completely embodies this notion. When I read Kerouac's definitive opus on the Beat Generation, it fuels my desire to pen great fiction. Whitehead's works give me the same feeling.

Anyhow, I've recommended the works of Malcolm Gladwell on this blog. They are fantastic, insightful and completely worth reading if you have an interest in human behavior, success, marketing, teaching, sociology, history, etc. Cannot speak highly enough of his books... but skip them -- just for the time being -- and start with Colson Whitehead's "The Intuitionist."

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