"I have no idea what “The Hunger Games” is like. Maybe there are complicated shades of good and evil in each character. Maybe there are Pynchonesque turns of phrase. Maybe it delves into issues of identity, self-justification and anomie that would make David Foster Wallace proud. I don’t know because it’s a book for kids. I’ll read “The Hunger Games” when I finish the previous 3,000 years of fiction written for adults."
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I bet I can already guess which book everyone at the airport, on the train, and sitting by the pool will be reading this summer. Though, due to its subject matter, it may be well hidden inside an e-reader. This one is a trilogy (shocker). Any guesses? My own prediction is after the jump.
Last summer, it seemed like everyone was reading "The Hunger Games." The summer before that, everyone was reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and its progeny. And before that, "Twilight." (Me? I liked the movies so much better than the books - I didn't even finish "GWTDT" because to me it was begging for some serious condensing, and the violence was too much. I didn't finish "Twilight" because if I'm going to be reading about vampires, I need to be reading about them having wild sex. As for "HG," if I were Katniss I would have had sex with movie Gale looong before those games even started. Run the risk of dying a virgin? Hell to the no. Not after spending so much time alone in the woods with that fine piece. Hard to suspend my disbelief on that one. Where was I? ...)
I want to inquire about your reading habits. How do you decide what you're going to read for pleasure?
I do it two ways: 1) I keep a list of books I want to read, and 2) I'm in two shitty book clubs and I actually do the reading. Also, I only read real books - I don't have an e-reader (not that e-books aren't "real"). Open to conversion someday. Just not now. I use my local public library constantly, and I have my book list uploaded there. They send me an email when something from my list is in. I could also elect to have them mail it to me. They have a drive through book drop. Heaven. They also do e-books, so I can painlessly make the switch someday.
Personally, I don't divide the literary world into "kid stuff" and "adult stuff." I try to remain open to suggestion, and I'll read anything. I won't necessarily finish everything though. But I will give it a fair shake for 75 pages. I'm sure you've heard how Joel Stein caught hell for poking fun at grown-ups who read young adult fiction here:
His brief commentary inspired quite a little debate on the internets. Funny how people think he is "wrong" for having his own personal boundaries about what he will and will not read. I think we all have the right to get irrational when it comes to our opinions on books. Anyway, I love that reading stirs such passion in the American public. Gives me hope for our future.
Summer 2012 reading prediction time.....
I predict everyone will be reading "Fifty Shades of Grey." I understand it's basically "Twilight" fan fiction about S&M. In the last 2 weeks, this book has been recommended to me several times, by some very straight-laced folk. One of my shitty book clubs just added it to our reading list. (This review has inspired me not to read it - be sure to read the comments, there is some damn clever writing in there, too. And this critique is hilarious.)
Instead, I think my inaugural 2012 summer read is going to be a little gem described by a friend I trust to be an underrated classic - "The Dud Avocado." What are your summer reading plans?