Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes

A long time ago I had an unpleasant experience which precipitated a few changes in direction, the most curious of which was in my reading tastes: almost overnight, a previously voracious appetite for serial-killer fiction evaporated and, in general, I no longer enjoyed reading fiction much at all. I’ve never worked out why–life is a strange journey. However, recently, I’ve had to read a lot of children’s literature for an elective study, and am surprised at how much enjoyment I’m getting from reading young adult fiction, in particular. And how much I’ve learnt from it–
about the world, about myself

What we see in the world has the power to change what we read. And what we read has the power to change the way we see the world and ourselves.

How marvellous.

What have you read recently that has changed the way you see yourself?

See The Daily Post for more entries to this week’s photo challenge.

53 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes

  1. Fascinating, as usual, BB. I want to know more. You should be a thriller writer yourself – perhaps without serial killers. I have been immersed in Sinclair Lewis lately – a wordsmith with a great heart, delightful sense of humor, and an unflinching commitment to reality. Neglected by just about everybody, including me until recently. His characters are so real, I swear I would recognize them walking down the street. Has he changed the way I look at myself? Not sure – I believe I prefer reality to illusion masquerading as reality.

    • “His characters are so real” – you’ve identified what is for me the very essence of what makes satisfying fiction, Monica. And it’s seemingly difficult to come by, so I’m off to find some Sinclair Lewis – thank you! Perhaps, one day, we will share stories over a glass of wine and a roaring log fire somewhere in the world πŸ˜€

      • That would be a joy, BB. I started with Dodsworth, because I had seen the film on Turner Classic Movies (an addiction). The credits mentioned Lewis, and I thought, “Hmm, why not?”. Then I went to Main Street, then to Babbitt, which I read in high school and thought nothing of, then Elmer Gantry, and now Arrowsmith. Lewis’ dialogue is so real you feel like you’re eavesdropping. Lewis takes his time – they had more of it in those days – so you have to get into a different rhythm. I didn’t want to read either Babbitt or Elmer Gantry and wound up dreaming about them. Hope this isn’t too much of a riff on Lewis. I also read Kingsblood Royal in there but wasn’t crazy about it.

        • Strange that you wound up dreaming about those two – Sinclair has certainly made a deep impression. I might start with Arrowsmith and see how I go with that – I’ll report back πŸ™‚ Thanks,Monica.

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  3. I like also to read thrillers but now I am carefull not to read several in a row from the same author. My reading now is very irregular, I can go days with out then can’t stop reading for a while and as you say I do not know why. It seems that my brain is the boss, and a very unpredictable boss. Reading is the key to a world of discovery πŸ™‚

    • As Monica says, thrillers without the serial killers πŸ™‚ It must be wonderful to have an unpredictable brain – perhaps it is the key to your considerable artistic talent.

  4. Not only do one’s tastes change, but the POV on reading does, too. Going back to child/young adult stories one used to live in as one of the characters, it is found that enjoyment is still found – but on analysis, this is coming more from nostalgia than from the actual story.

    • The interesting thing about much of the contemporary Australian young adult fiction, Col, is that, increasingly, it is devoid of that nostalgic perspective – which is probably why I’m enjoying it so much. It is often quite unpredictable in its structure and closure.

  5. i read youth fiction too …. my favourite genre … and we have marvellous australian authors … like you i gave up reading gory serial killer books some years ago … and now only dabble in occasional well-known detectives πŸ™‚

  6. I don’t have time lately to read as much as I used to, but strangely enough I picked up a self-help book at the second hand shop the other day. It’s the first time I’ve ever read anything like this and I’m kind of enjoying it! πŸ™‚ It’s always good to mix it up a little…

    • I’m not surprised you don’t have time, lol! Between renovating the RUC and writing, I’m amazed that you’ve got time to read at all! A self-help book – you’re not telling which one…

      • It’s called ‘The Seat of the Soul’ by Gary Zukav. I’m not sure if it’s actually classified as ‘self-help’, but I’ve found it really inspirational πŸ˜€ The blurb on the cover says “An inspirational vision of humanity’s spiritual destiny”. It was a New York Times bestseller (way back when) and I can see why by the way he writes πŸ˜‰

        • πŸ˜€ I just had a look on Amazon and see he is a scientist, so an interesting combination of science and philosophy by the looks of it. What he says about power relations in the peek Amazon gives into the book is very interesting.

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  9. I love the photo of the book store, because I love book stores – and books.

    An answer to your question:
    I read a lot of literary fiction, but a lot of what I read has mixed genres. I have recently read a thriller, a mystery, YA fiction and Science fiction. The book that might have made the greatest impact on me was “Treasure Island!!!” by Sara Levine. It is a book about discovering what values you want to live by. The protagonist uses Robert L. Stevenson’s book “Treasure Island” as her guide on how to live. Funny book.

    • Thanks, Rob πŸ™‚ If you’re ever in Sydney, visit Kinokuniya bookshop – you might never leave πŸ˜‰
      “Treasure Island!!!” sounds like an interesting read – thanks for the recommendation.

  10. Must admit I haven’t read any fiction for ages – though I would like to, just haven’t had time – I have as usual been reading heaps of non-fiction and all have them have been about raising livestock and self sufficiency – ‘dummies guide to raising goats’, ‘barnyard in your backyard’, etc., I probably read more on the internet than I read on paper (easier on my eyes) – I have a bad habit of falling asleep when I read books (but have never yet fallen asleep in front of the computer). I’d like to read my books on psychology as well (mindfulness has caught my eye).

      • Hehe
        Mindfulness is not easy to cultivate when you have such a busy life but is well worth the effort – I’ve worked really hard at it the last year and am much happier for it.
        You seem to be settling down happily now in your new home now after such a rude welcome, so maybe it won’t be too difficult to do.

    • “Goats for dummies”, haha – I think you’ve been reading “Mutant Veg for Dummies” – your homegrown veggies are a triumph and I’ve got veggie-patch envy. Just don’t let those little goats anywhere near it πŸ˜‰

  11. Hi bluebee,
    The last book I read that made me take another look at my actions was probably when I read some of Camus’ Notebooks and his posts on travel. That was a while ago, but I still think about it often.

  12. thrillers , murders, sort of Historical Crime I’m enjoying reading at the moment,bb, Steven Saylor (Roma Sub Rosa, series) and the Railway Detective by Edward Marston, (set in early Victorian London) to name but two. Once dipped into ’tis hard to escape their clutches πŸ™‚ My true love of course is Science fiction, Dragons and suchlike, fantasy and fire. Oooo luvverly!! xPenx

    • Ah, yes, Pen – I can see you love science fiction and dragons! πŸ˜€ I was never a big fan of science fiction, but after being convinced by a friend to watch the ‘Terminator’ movies (which I found to be very funny in a dark sort of way), having studied ‘Minority Report’ at uni, and having being forced to read a few science fiction and steampunk novels for my children’s lit electives at uni, I am a lot more interested in the genre now. Edward Marston’s book sounds like an interesting one – I’ll look him up. Thanks πŸ™‚

  13. Love your photo. It’s true that one’s reading matter can influence the way one thinks, and on occasion can change one’s views on certain subjects. At the moment, I’m reading “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap” by one of our fellow bloggers, Paulette Mahurin. It’s a fascinating and insightful story.

    • Thanks, AD. I’ve just looked up the book you’re reading and it is the type of story that I really enjoy reading – stories that reflect on the human condition of ordinary people and the way in which these stories can make us reflect on our own actions and prejudices. Thanks.

  14. I love this, BB. And I think reading and writing are all about reflection. They are where we learn things and form theories and ideas about the world. And then we carry it out into real life to see how they work and feel,bringing our conclusions back to reflect on in writing.

    Great post.

    • Thanks, Kate. So much to learn from others. I’m often astounded to discover that many things I’ve always felt in an instinctive but rather vague, abstract way have an ancient theoretical and textual life. Also, during particularly intensive poetry writing periods, I am surprised and often quite alarmed as to what comes out.

  15. Interesting post and great comment thread, BB. Love the photo too.

    My taste in books has definitely changed over time. I don’t read much about murder and mayhem anymore. I don’t care for the imagery lodging itself in my brain.

  16. I take breaks from reading for a few months at a time, then read… read… read, devouring whatever I lay my hands on. It has been mysteries and mostly action. Patricia Cornwall-James Patterson-type books are my favourites! Now I have downloaded a lot of the classics which I haven’t read for catching up on and some of my old favourites too including Jane Eyre, etc. I must say the Kindle (given to me by my brother) is so easy on the eyes – I love it!

    • Kindles are great, Adee – my battery went legs-up, so I read on my iPad now but it’s tiring for the eyes. The Kindle’s interface is much better for reading. I used to love Patricia Cornwell but don’t read her books anymore. One of the more classic authors that I enjoy is Edith Wharton, although her novels are rarely uplifting πŸ™‚

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