Excuses, Excuses

How many times have you told yourself you don’t have time to read? Be honest.

I know I’ve made that excuse way more than I’d like to admit. And guess what? It’s just an excuse. President Obama was interviewed last week by the top book critic of the NYT on what books mean to him. And he revealed that during his eight years as President he always found it important to get as much reading in as he could. If the President of the United States has time to read, then shouldn’t we all be able to find a few minutes here and there to get some reading done? I say yes.

I think it helps that President Obama was a published author before taking office. Naturally one would expect him to be literary-minded. But still, no one can argue against the fact that every President is under immense pressure and has to deal with more than most people can fathom. If he can find time to read, so can you.

Read the full interview here.

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POLL: On Having Opinions of Authors you Haven’t Read

Yesterday’s post sparked an interesting discussion. Another blogger claimed to not understand why Americans idolize Ernest Hemingway. Nothing really special there. I proceeded to ask which of his works brought about this negative opinion. This is where our paths diverted from one another. She hasn’t read him. Not at all.

My stance on this is that anyone can have an opinion on any particular topic, but if you are willing to share your opinion about an author and their work, then you should have read them. Maybe I’m crazy. This is how I think of it. Imagine taking a class on 20th century American Literature, right? And then finding out your professor had never read any 20th century literature. Would you still think you’re getting your money’s worth? I wouldn’t.

For the record, the other blogger didn’t claim to be an expert on anything. It’s just how a visualized it.

Now I pose the question to you. Is it necessary to read an author before sharing your opinion of them, their work, or their legacy with someone else?

I say yes. You should have read their work if you’re sharing your opinion of them with someone else. If I said, “I don’t understand why Jane Austen is always assigned in school.” I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect me to form that opinion AFTER exposing myself to at least some of the author’s work.

Remember this is about one’s opinion being credible. It isn’t about forming an opinion without familiarizing yourself with the topic. We all do that at some point.

Tell me your thoughts!

2017 Reading Challenge: The Sun Also Rises

Would you look at that?! Look who’s off to a fine start to their 2017 reading! *raises hand*

Okay. I’m going to be completely honest. I read this book because it’s one of Amazon’s 100 books everyone should read, which y’all know by now that I’ve been slowly working my way through the list since it first came out almost three years ago. It was my first foray into the world that is Ernest Hemingway. I was so excited to read the book that I didn’t even bother to read the back of it before I started.

I could not have been more disappointed. I considered splitting my review in half between this post and the video, but I just couldn’t do it. When I went back and edited the video it was so obvious how frustrated and disgusted I became with parts of this book. I didn’t want to fail to convey those feelings through the written word. So, all of my thoughts are in the video.

I imagine many of you have already read this book, so I do want to tell you some of the things I discuss in the video.

  • The objectification of women in the book
  • The drinking habits of the characters
  • Bullfighting
  • The Jewish character
  • The overall writing style

ALL are discussed. I have extremely strong thoughts about every aspect of this book. As always, I encourage you to take a quick look at my reaction to my first Hemingway read. This book fulfilled the requirement to read a 20th century classic for my 2017 Reading Challenge.

Have you read The Sun Also Rises? What did you think of it?

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Do all Book Genres Share This?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It’s the one thing I can say all genres share. Every well written book in every genre is actually a mystery book.

What I mean is just about every author aims to leave the reader guessing by not being predictable. Mystery is mostly crime fiction at this point, but that’s an arbitrary classification. Any author who keeps their cards close to their chest throughout the story is actually writing a mystery.

Not every book is a mystery and not every author writes them, but I’d argue that every genre is full of mysteries and mystery writers. Even if these works are classified differently.

What do you think?

When Will They End?

After the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child JK Rowling made a point to say Harry is done. Even though she’d already said the series would end after book 7. Which is fine until it was announced that there’d be 3 new ebooks released next month. None of the new ebooks is about Harry, but it just leads one to wonder when (or if) the books will ever stop.

I guess when you’re the author of the bestselling series ever you can do whatever you want to with your series. I know fans of the series will just about always buy anything remotely related to the wizarding world, but is that reason enough to keep releasing snippets of info fairly regularly? I mean, doesn’t she also post random things on Pottermore every once in awhile too?

I don’t know. I’m feeling like we’re being forced to remember the wizarding world. I’m just glad Suzanne Collins hasn’t done this with Katniss. Although I think there is a prequel movie being made, though I’m unsure of her actual involvement. But at least she isn’t releasing ancillary type stories or books that do nothing to add to the original trilogy. I say let Harry and the whole wizarding world finally shut the door on what’s been a remarkable couple of decades. But of course, I’m no one.

Are you still craving any and everything related to the wizarding world? Or are you ready to move on like I am?

(though I’m still reading the original series)

Top Five Wednesday: Books Outside my Comfort Zone

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is the best books I’ve read outside my comfort zone, which is definitely mystery. I probably had 6-7 books in mind when I came up with my list, but I ultimately stuck with the required five books. I’ve actually talked about all five books at some point either on here or in previous videos, so there really should be no surprise ¬†this time around.

Now watch: It’s quick!

What are the best books you’ve read that fell outside your literary comfort zone?

Top Five Wednesday: Dads

FINALLY. Finally a new video y’all might actually be interested in. Y’all know about Top Five Wednesday, and this topic is pretty straightforward. Now just watch and see if my favorite literary Papa Bears are similar to yours.

PS: There’s a twist!

Who are YOUR favorites?!