Before I begin, a note, as I suspect this piece is going to be controversial: This post...
Sweet Jesus! Okay, you win! I will talk about INTJs and INTPs!
But, once again, I have to start by stressing...
Well, today it has happened. A sad day, really. Because I...
Well, this is a nifty time waster. Apparently, I write like Oscar Wilde. (Which is cool, because I already have the appropriate haircut.)
Of all the canonical, white dudes listed (and Jane Austen!), I guess if you write modernist, realistic fiction, you’ll get Wilde. I plugged in a piece that could be loosely classified as fantasy, and got H.G. Wells.
My ego is sufficiently stroked.
(Then the mood analyzer told me my writing was angry. How dare it tone police my craft!)
I wasted most of yesterday afternoon with the myers-briggs classifier (browse the front page: you have to check each function separately). This will only make sense if you know type theory, but I’ve tested as an INTP. My blog posts were a hodgepodge of INTP, INFP, INTJ, and INFJ. Given that I have only a moderate preference for thinking and perceiving, that’s not entirely inaccurate. A personal essay on listening to Springsteen’s Nebraska for the first time was labeled ISFP, as was most of my fiction. The aforementioned fantasy piece was INFP, and the ramblings of a vaguely sociopathic character got INTJ. (Ha!)
I just took a personality that listed among my preferred occupations poet, bounty hunter, bookseller, and assassin.
This is the first in a series of “formal” posts on books I’ve read this year that I found interesting/worthy of recommendation. I’m starting with novels because I made an effort to read more of them this year, and I think I achieved that goal and then some.
For me, novels have always been easier to give up on than non-fiction (if I’m passionate about the topic, I can excuse a not-so well-written book), or short story collections (too easy to skip around), so finishing one means I actually liked it enough to, well, stick with it.
At the top of the list would be Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, Abigail Tarttelin’s Golden Boy, and the reissue of Renata Adler’s Speedboat. The Interestings is what I wished Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenide’s The Marriage Plot was. Although I enjoyed both of those, I thought Wolizer did a better job at the “500-page character study as novel” than either Franzen or Eugenides. Adler’s Speedboat was a dark horse (it wasn’t even on my radar until late last year), though it did get a lot of positive press. On the surface, it’s a meandering mess. Her prose sort of just hangs there without much to propel it forward, but it draws you in. Golden Boy has been high on my list since the summer, and I can’t fathom why this books hasn’t gotten as much press as it could have. It bridges the gap between adult literature, and YA, which might be the reason it’s managed to fall through the cracks, and it’s straightforward narrative is a little predictable, but it’s beautifully written and boasts an intersex protagonist that isn’t a cliche.
Other novels I liked but didn’t love: Curtis Sittenfield’s Sisterland, A.M. Homes’s May We Be Forgiven, which I actually read at the end of 2012, and the perfect send-up to those grand “social novels.” Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers was one of my biggest disappointments, but I think a lot of it had to do with all the praised heaped upon it. I was expecting some kind of literary masterpiece, and it’s really just a good mainstream novel. Nothing wrong with that, though.
See the rest of my list here.