I finished my RIP Challenge some time back, and have even completed some bonus books. The Gothic appeal, however, still has me in its grip, and I've books on order to continue the compulsion. Yesterday would have been the perfect day to indulge, but I didn't have a Gothicky thing at the moment (waiting on Amazon). Nevertheless, when I got home after lunch, I settled in for a couple of hours of comfort reading, cuddled up with dog, soft throw, and hot tea. Looking out the window, I'd think about how glad I was to be back inside and warm.
Most readers recognize different levels of skill on the part of an author: skill with language, with characterization, and with narration. But of course, all of it is achieved through language. If an author is especially good, I'll re-read sections for the pleasure of seeing a master at work. You do it, too, because in your blogs, you not only mention such passages but frequently quote them as illustration. Sometimes we take it a step further and analyze (almost subconsciously) the author's language techniques.
This morning, in reading book-blog, I discovered a review of Francine Prose's (pleasant irony) book Reading Like a Writer. I usually skip this kind of review because I'm not interested in becoming a writer. Kind of silly since I love books about "reading." In a good book about "writing," there is a confluence -- as writers are writing to be read, and as long as the book isn't a formulaic step-by-step-to-becoming-a-better-writer, there is a promise of learning how the author creates what the reader experiences.
Debra's review of Reading Like a Writer and the close reading technique appeals to me. How does Highsmith make a character like Ripley engaging? Read Debra's review (are there others of you who have read the book?), and you may end up adding another title to your TBR list. I did.