The novel I am reading right now is The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner, an epic work of fiction about the Mason family struggling struggling to make make ends meet during the first decades of the 20th century. Their struggles have a lot to do with the impulsive visions of wealth that keep husband and father Bo Mason looking for a big strike and always falling short, incessantly dragging along his silently suffering wife Elsa and boys Chet and Bruce from home to home in his quest. As I wrap up the last 80 pages of this novel, I am once again reminded how much I love reading and storytelling. As a single father with a full-time job and no family support in the area, it’s easy to cut corners when it comes to life’s pleasures (including reading) just for the sake of being responsible to one’s economic, professional and social welfare.
But I’ve been doing a pretty good job over the past couple days “saving” my reading time and as the book wraps up (on a strong note, so far), I thought some of my readers might enjoy knowing what two novels I read years ago that had a tremendous impact on me and which made me want to be an author.