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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Books That Changed My Life Part 3 (The Halloween Version)

You didn't think I'd leave out this one, did you?

I saved this one to discuss in a post all by itself. Not because it's the best, or it's my favorite (because asking me what my favorite is would be like asking me to pick a favorite kid!), but because I was just really blown away by this book.

This one, I wanted to read. Not for any reason except the buzz factor. There was lots of buzz. I succumbed, and I'm so glad I did.

What I learned from Neil (yes, we are on a first name basis) was perhaps the simplest, yet the most complex rule of all: Embrace the distinction between what you put in and what you leave out. I mean, choosing what to leave out in a story is just as important as deciding what to put in. In some ways, it's the same decision. Yin and yang and all that. Because for everything that happens in the story, there's other stuff that happened that the writer didn't put in.

And yet, the story actually seems more whole because of what wasn't said....


On to other things:

Okay, so last Spring at our school's Multicultural Fair, I was auctioned off...well, my storytelling talents were auctioned off. Now it's time to pay the piper..... For a Halloween party! Now, I know lots of scary stories, but I am always on the lookout for something new, something that's not too scary (kids are my audience) but something that delivers. So, if you have any ideas, let me know.


Blogger....? Wha? I mean, I was "The Underliner" a few weeks I am the Giantess of the Font? Come on!! Shrink, I say! Shrink!


Kelly H-Y said...

I haven't read that one yet ... your recommendation may just sway me!

Bane of Anubis said...

Definitely one I intend to read in the near future. Love Gaiman's imagination and heard that he paralleled The Jungle Book w/ TGB, so that makes it doubly interesting.

Though didn't read the book, thought Stardust the movie was along the lines of The Princess Bride... probably won't ever reach that cult status, but a great movie.

Susan R. Mills said...

What is it with you and blogger? It seems to take over your posts every now and then. Maybe he's jealous of your awesomeness. Anyway, this is a great post. I've recently had to delete some things, and when I went back and read the final result, it was so much better! What I left out made all the difference in the world.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shelley, I love your insight on this. I hadn't thought about what was left out--that's important to ponder. Anyway, I love Gaiman and this book. He said the idea waited years until he felt he was ready to write it. Have you ever heard him read? Fabulous. I'm a big fan of the audio of The Wolves in the Walls.

Natalie said...

I really liked THE GRAVEYARD BOOK too. I liked it even more when I read that he had based it off of THE JUNGLE BOOK. Genius.

Kim said...

I have got to read this book. My DD's teacher read Coraline to the class last year and she fell in love, but she's only 9. Would she be too young for this one?

And, Gigantor, VERY, VERY awesome that you were auctioned off. You are one cool queen!

Heavenly Muse said...

such a antique looking blog....:-)

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

The Graveyard Book was great, I agree. I was a little sad when it ended, because I had no more to read. That's when I know a book is good or when I think about months after I read it.

xoxo -- Hilary

MG Higgins said...

I agree with Tricia (as I so often do!) on how insightful you are. Yes, what we leave out is as important as what we include (and Gaiman's a master).

Julie Dao said...

I am dying to read that book! (haha, pun wasn't intended but now I'll pretend it was) I saw an advertisement for it somewhere. I've only ever read "Stardust" and have always wanted to try another Gaiman book. I'll have to head to Barnes and Noble and treat myself this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation!

Dawn Simon said...

This was already on my must read list, but I haven't hit it yet. Must. Read. SOON.

Lisa and Laura said...

I've read some other Neil Gaiman, but not The Graveyard Book. I'm thinking that it might make for a good Halloween treat.

Love that you were auctioned off! I wish you lived closer so I could put you on the block for my son's preschool benefit.

Amy Tate said...

I need to finish that book. I had a hard time getting past the violence in chapter one, but I've been told that the ending is really cool.