That Was Then, This Is Now, And Then There’s Tomorrow

I have been reading a lot of commercial genre fiction lately. I’m not knocking it. It serves a purpose, to entertain, but sometimes you just need something deeper. A more cerebral read, not heavy, but profound.

It is a challenge to find a book like that. Contemporary fiction often does not appeal to me…it’s too much of real life problems and miseries of everyday living. The classics are always good, but when you have read so many of them, you need something fresh. Contemporary literary fiction with excellent prose is hard to find these days.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I spent some time in my youth on a pot farm in the middle of the North Georgia Mountains. Those were my hippie days. Being emancipated at the age of fifteen after living in foster care and an orphanage for most of my childhood the communal lifestyle was appealing to me. I hung out with a little older crowd.

I had friends I’ll probably never see again, except maybe on Facebook: Jimmy and Mike Bullington, David Hanson, Leigh Ann Jennings, Anne and Stephen Liner, Chris Mobbs, Sheila Reddin (the Sherriff’s daughter) Kevin (deceased), Bryan, and David Hutto. (Was briefly married to one of those.) The names are not so important, but our lives were enmeshed during a most enlightening era.

You seriously have to lose the notion of sex, drugs, and rock and roll being the dominating factors if you want to truly understand that time period and how it influenced so much of what this generation was…, no, is. Not that those elements were not, at least loosely, associated with that experience of coming of age, but they weren’t the be-all, end-all of it. Most of us lived on the fringes. It was a magical time in more ways than one.

What was most significant was the coming of age in a time period that allowed all of us the freedom to develop relationships and make mistakes that promoted a development of ideals without having to be directly taught what those ideals should or should not be. It was a wild time, yet a humanity managed to emerge that ushered in a gentler devotion to nature, peace, love and accepting the differences that exist in all of us, that make us wonderfully unique, and yet one.

There is a blogger who published a book a couple of years ago. His name is Mike Grant. He’s a quiet, laid back, older fellow who posts on occasion, but not often. When he has something to say, it is usually quite insightful, so I ventured to read his book. I was a little wary when I read the book description, (which I now feel does not do the book justice, I’ll say), and saw no reviews on Amazon and only a couple on Goodreads. I found a couple online and they were all positive. Then I read the Look Inside. I was hooked on reading the introduction. This is a book everyone from age 20 to 80 should read.

Tomorrow I will post my review of his exceptionally well-written book, “White Wolf Moon”.

Mike’s an old hippie, like me, and he told my story in 2012, before we ever had chance to meet online. I won’t tell you which character I was, but it’s all there. I went on to become a yuppie, and eventually evolved into a city dweller, but some things you just never forget. More than my story, in his wisdom, he tells the story of generations yet to come.

Have you ever found a book you could relate to so well you could swear someone spied on you?

Maybe they reached inside and tapped your soul?

30 thoughts on “That Was Then, This Is Now, And Then There’s Tomorrow

  1. I tend to stay within fantasy, comics, and sci-fi. I was the quiet kid in the corner, so most books that related to that kind of character had them as psychopaths waiting to happen or simply anti-social. There were a few dreamer types over the years, but they tended to be portrayed as ditzy and aloof of the main plot. I think the character I connected to for a bit was Ender who felt like an outcast and was constantly put into positions where he had to fight with little help from authority. At least he thought there was no help. The big difference is that while Ender was high intelligence/logic, I was creativity. So it wasn’t a perfect match.

  2. I went through a very frustrating period of life a few years back and was very fortunate to happen to read a book (sci-fi) which very much helped me deal with it. It’s incredible how I happened to read the perfect book for that situation at the perfect time.

  3. Even before I read Shirley Showalter’s BLUSH: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World I knew I would relate to her experience. Both raised in a sheltered community of Lancaster County, PA in the 1950s, Shirley’s experience paralleled to my own. In other words, change the names in her memoir and you have my own story. We have shared breakfast in real time, and stay in contact beyond our blogs.

    There’s no contemporary fiction or sci-fi in such a book, but I have answered your question, SK!

    • You did and very well. Though a memoir is not a fiction read, it is certainly one many people can relate to…that’s what sells memoirs after all. Thanks for your comment Marian. I look forward to your own memoir some day.

  4. There are plenty of commercial writers who dig deep into their character’s soul. Commercial doesn’t mean it’s not cerebral. Maybe you’re reading the wrong ones. Personally I love commercial books, but you do need to be careful who you read.

  5. For too long all I read were the classics (Austen, Bronte, Dickens). The only “modern” literature for awhile was by Woolf, Conrad. I was in college and for years after I graduated, I found it hard to read anything but those authors. Now, the upside of reading the classics was that they would put me into another world. But after awhile I got tired of those Victorian corsets and reading about impoverished street sweepers. Being online and meeting people like yourself has opened a new world of reading for me. I’ve learned I can enjoy any writing as long as it’s well done. I am intrigued by your review of Grant’s book and your post here. Guess my TBR tower is only going to get taller 🙂

    • If you liked Jane Eyre, there is a new indie author who has just published a sequel. I haven’t read it yet, but it has several five stars already and people are saying good things. It’s Lucia Gray’s, “All Hallows at Eyre Hall”.

      Grant did great with White Wolf Moon, and the inside story is that it was sort of mine…an accidental novel.

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