An Unusual Read and Happiness


Again I was blog trolling and found something interesting posed at Scobberlotch:

“What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?”

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. That’s my answer. In this case, it’s because of the subject matter — orchid poaching, orchid poachers, and orchid collecting. It has to be one of the most unusual subjects anyone might write about, but Orlean pulls it off so well. Her reportage is excellent, detailed, suspenseful. It’s the writing, the reporting that makes such an usual subject become worth reading about.

Orlean comments in the Reader’s Guide in the back of my edition that the subject matter of orchids and orchid collecting was unfamiliar territory for her and she started out detached from the subject, but became much more invested in the subject matter as she wrote. “[T]he process of writing is the journey to understanding,” she says, and that’s how I approached this book. Orchids, orchid collecting were completely unfamiliar territory for me as a reader, but once I became involved with Orlean’s writing, I wanted to keep journeying through the book to understanding.

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Writer, editor, and teacher Shelly Lowenkopf posted a wonderful essay on happiness that is definitely worth reading. Here is the link: Shelly Lowenkopf’s Blog

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2 thoughts on “An Unusual Read and Happiness

  1. Good morning. Thanks for mentioning Scobberlotch in your post. Actually, there is a cool blog called Booking Through Thursday – http://btt2.wordpress.com/ – which offers a weekly question about books, publishing and reading preferences – that more than 100 of us join in. So I have to give credit where credit is due. 🙂
    Anyone can hop over there and add his/her link to the comments section. So troll on over so folks can come to your wonderful blog and read about The Orchid Thief. That was an unusual book! And a weirder movie, as I recall.

    Cheers!

    Karen

  2. Karen,

    Thanks for the comment. I will definitely troll over to Booking Through Thursday, and post something about it.

    And Adaptation was one of the weirdest movies I’ve seen.

    Todd

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