Room for Improvement


As part of the Left to Write blog, I was given a free copy of Room by Emma Donoghue. The book has generated some hype recently, but I suppose a write up cover of the New York Times Book Review section will do that. I began the book late this weekend but given some fervent opposition to the book by my fellow bloggers and the late arrival of said novel, I did not finish the story narrated by a five year old boy locked in a room with his mother.

I feel badly for not completing the book, or really reading more of it. When children are pulling off their diapers sitting in wet cribs and screaming bloody murder, a book must be engaging enough to maintain my attention. Of course, as part of the Left to Write blog, I don’t have to write a report, merely a blog inspired by the book. And if I don’t? I can’t imagine my imaginary mommy friends in the blogosphere will disown me. Will you?

I actually harbor quite a bit of guilt about books not read. I resent my high school English teachers for not forcing those dreaded classics on me. I would have liked to have read at least one Jane Austen or Flannery O’Connor story. I did read The Great Gatsby when I commuted to a tutoring job in Great Neck but I felt I was missing something. I did not get the story or appreciate it as some sort of masterpiece.

I did read Great Expectations, all of it, pretended to follow some Shakespeare in class and bluffed my way through the Odyssey and The Trial. So while I aspire to be a novelist, the lack of professional training feels like a void, evoking similar feelings to hearing a vocabulary word I should be able to define, but cannot. Perhaps that is motivation to write a book from the perspective of a five year old.

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3 Responses to “Room for Improvement”

  1. kroliklinsey Says:

    Definitely not disowned! This one came late and we had a quick deadline. NOT your fault. Feel no guilt.

    You SHOULD, however, read Jane Austen…perhaps over the winter holidays, we can select a classic to just read. You pick the title. Let me know 🙂

  2. ROOM by Emma Donoghue – A From Left to Write Book Club | Says:

    […] Helen P from I Want a Book Deal has room for improvement […]

  3. mastermindmommy Says:

    Haha! Your post reminded me of a funny story!

    When I was in college I was supposed to read a play by Shakespeare for class… (I think it was As you Like it.) When I got to class a few minutes late, my professor was raging at the class because most of the students didn’t read it. As I approached my seat, he turned on me and asked “did you read it?” “Yep,” I replied coolly although I had only muddled my way though the intro with the intent to bluff my way through the class and read more that night. My professor then proceeded to throw everyone but the students who said they’d read the play out of class and we convened in his office for discussion. Luckily, our discussion didn’t move past the intro so I was safe for the time being. You better believe I read the rest of that play that night!

    So the point of my ramblings? Make sure you do your reading or you might get called out on it!

    I won’t disown you (although I don’t really know you). I’m sure we’ve all been there. With kids and jobs and life all around you, it’s not easy to find time to sit and read.

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