Tag Archives: story

Book Review: Travels in the Scriptorium – by Paul Auster

Travels in the Scriptorium – by Paul Auster

There was a decided mysteriousness and ingenuity about this plot, which is the whole point about the style that is said to be characteristic of Paul Auster. (This is the first I have read of his books.)

It was easy to get through this book – it is just 145 pages long; the story is engaging and well written. Fitting the whole plot together after reading the ending is what stretches the mind and elevates it onto a philosophical plane.

I shall not give away the story here. Suffice to say, the book is worth an encounter if just for curiosity to experience the different type of world one travels into. Perplexing in some ways, it is an unusual sort of theme to be explored – a journey into a writer’s mind.

Story Tennis

TennisSomeone recently introduced me and a few others to the concept of “Story Tennis”.

We are a foursome. The first player writes 200-500 words of a story, hits it over to the next player to continue, then it’s his or her turn and so on. We have no idea what’s coming next in the story as that depends on the imagination of three other people in sequence, but have to read carefully to ensure continuity. Amusing at times, to uncover the unexpected twists and turns in the story, it has kept us each in suspense. We get the pleasure of reading, writing and interacting with each other all in one game.

Thinking about unexpected twists and turns, I am suddenly reminded of the most shocking plot I ever read in a detective novel. This has got to be “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christe, which I read decades ago. We are ameteurs, writing for fun and I would not in my wildest dreams make any comparison to one of the great writers of all time. With four people thinking very differently, though, we could be in for quite a few strange surprises. It’s a nice experiment. I wait in anticipation for my third round of writing!

My takeaway from the book “Express to Impress” – by Darren Tay

Express to Impress – by Darren Tay

My friend, Darren, a 23-year old with many accomplishments already, invited me to his book launch, held yesterday, which I was happy to attend. Darren recently graduated with a law degree and was on the Dean’s list, he is a champion public speaker within Toastmasters International and is now an entrepreneur, having started his own ‘Public Speaking Academy’.

I hadn’t planned on buying the book before the event, as I already have many on public speaking. However, it was quite inexpensive, with an attractive discount at the launch event, only about 170 pages long, and well, what can I say, my curiosity got the better of me – I am always drawn to books.

What I like about the book is that it is refreshing and original. There are a gazillion books on public speaking and I had earlier thought – “what could be new about this one?” Yet, it is very much based on the writer’s personal experiences and perspectives. The stories, anecdotes and lessons learnt are uniquely the author’s and therefore to me, the book has been an interesting read.

The takeaway for me, and for any aspiring writer, is just that. No matter how beaten up a subject may be, an author’s own unique experience and stories brought to life somehow have a way of connecting with readers’ souls!