Thursday, October 16, 2008

how cool is this?

So I was just screwing around the other day, bored, avoiding work, looking for some new music on iTunes, and I found this (Smith points at picture on blog).

How cool is this?

I'm on iTunes.

Just like Elvis and Curt Cobain. Except I still have a pulse. Wow. I just realized how much I like Nirvana, too. And, considering Ghost Medicine is over 11 hours long, I may have more time-space than Nirvana, too... I don't know. Oh... and more audio is definitely coming from me.

And I'm not even going to gripe that it mistakenly says I am the narrator, because I'm not. The audio for Ghost Medicine was done by an actor named Mike Chamberlain. I don't think I'd want to ever do an audiobook myself... it's too hard to pronounce every single word so perfectly. And, believe me, Mike's director (a terrific and talented lady named Jessica Kaye) was an absolute perfectionist with the words.

Anyway, this being BoNoBloMo (boy novelist blogging month) and Teen Read Week all at the same time, I thought I'd go ahead and make some recommendations for books for boys. One caveat, though... I am not going to recommend any current writers. It's not fair, in my opinion. Of course, I'd recommend myself... and, then, who the hell am I to judge the strengths and merits of my peers? But I will say this... when I recommend books for boys, they will almost always be books that were written by boys. Sorry. I have my reasons.

Okay. So here goes:

  • In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Wild Palms by William Faulkner
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Mosses from an Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
  • Something Wicked this way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Okay... why would I recommend those particular books?

Well, I don't necessarily consider them to be the best ten books ever written. Maybe some of them are. But I did actually read all of them when I was a boy. And I didn't have to read them... they were not assigned to me when I was in High School. I actually went to the bookstore and bought them (and many others) on my own when I was a kid.

I guess I was a bit of a literary snob in many respects. But these were, and are, amazing books. Also, I often picked really long books (like Dostoevsky or Hardy), and old classics, because they were always really cheap, and their length made me feel like I was getting my money's worth and giving me the opportunity to spend a lot of time on them.

Really. Honestly. When I was a teenager, those were some of the books I read.

I thought about this blog because I received an email last night from another author friend who thought he detected a taste of Hemingway in Ghost Medicine. So I confessed how I seriously believed, as a teenager, that there would NEVER be a writer who could even get close to licking Hemingway's boots. So I read everything by him I could get my hands on, and I put myself out on some pretty crazy and reckless adventures, too, trying to see what it felt like to live that kind of life.

One of these days, I know I'll write about my own Hemingway-esque adventures. 'Cause I did make it through some interesting challenges.

And I still have a pulse, too.