Monday, November 12, 2012

Because You Have To by Joan Frank

Good morning, readers! I'm part of the TLC tour for Joan Frank's Because You Have To: A Writing Life today.

This book is a little different than my normal fare in that it's a collection of essays on the writing life. A typical synopsis and review post doesn't really fit this particular kind of book very well, so I'll forgo that format here.

Because You Have To features a wide ranging collection of pieces previously published in a variety of places, all focused on writing. It's earnest and fascinating, but you shouldn't at all expect it to be a how-to or a writing guide. Instead, it's a collection of pieces on the art, the emotion, and the thought behind writing.

I would almost suggest NOT approaching this book as you would any other book. It became tedious trying to read multiple pieces in one sitting. Some of the pieces resonated more with me as a reader than others. Some flew completely over my head and defied all efforts on my part to grasp what the author was trying to convey.

I don't mean to write it off at all. As I said, some of the pieces were highly insightful: "The Stillness of Sleeping Birds" and "Be Careful Whom You Tell" were particularly inspiring. I think as a whole that I simply expected this book to be something else. I'm not sure what I thought it would be -- I did know it was a collection of essays on writing -- but it nonetheless ended up being not quite what I'd hoped it would be in cracking the first pages. Oh, well.

To see what others on the tour thought, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Joan Frank and her work, check out her website here.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I wonder if you would have enjoyed the book more if you had read it in different sittings? I really enjoyed it but I know that I will re-visit each of the essays as separate entities rather than re-reading the entire book again :)

Becky LeJeune said...

I do think you're right, and I thought about that only after I trudged through a bunch in one sitting :(