Marisa Silver’s Mary Coin, based off the famous “Migrant Mother” photograph, proves this analogy doesn’t necessarily extend to literature. Expertly, Silver weaves the stories of three seemingly disconnected characters. Of course, there’s the titular Mary Coin, there’s modern day professor Walker Dodge, and Depression-era photographer Vera Dare. Upon first glance, based solely on timing, you could see how the first and last of that group may interact but it’s the true joy of this novel to discover the ways in which all three characters are tied together.
As I detailed in my WWFIL piece a month or so back, I generally hated reading in high school. I hated the Brontë sisters with the passion of a thousand suns (one of those thousand, I’m honest enough to admit, was ignorant to enough to think that the author’s name was actually Jane Eyre). I couldn’t even lift Moby Dick. If we needed an incredibly abridged version to even get through the text (ahem, Mr. Dickens), I was out.
So, beyond the obvious, one great reason to start keeping a journal is because it’s great competition. Instead of answering the question, “How many books did you read last year?” (basically a Johnson-size contest for the literary nerd) with the vague “I don’t know, I think about 10 to 15”, you now can have a definite answer.
Three years ago, I read 10 books. In 2011 and 2012, I read 16 each. That’s progress, folks.
When summer would come around every year, I’d get that whiff of childhood where, once allowed to read freely, I’d enjoy the activity. Without fail each year, Rosh Hashanah would come (as a Jew, it serves the purpose that Memorial Day does for the rest of the world), school would start up again, and back into the “I hate reading” world I’d retreat.