I often run out of ideas for discussion posts so along with Sara Letourneau’s Thursday Thoughtfulness and Weekly Writer Wisdom posts, which inspired my last Weekend Reads post, I’ll also look to the Book Blogger Hop feature for ideas.
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly book discussion meme that was created by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and is now continued by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. It offers bloggers the chance to find new blogs, gain followers, and discover new books. It also provides a long list of discussion topics that stretch well into 2018, so no need to cast around for topics if you can’t think of any.
This week’s question was submitted by Maria at A Night’s Dream of Books:
Would you stop reading a book if an element of the plot strongly clashed with your personal beliefs, or would you continue reading until you finished the book?
The quick answer to this is No. I have read many books and articles that present situations, characters, and ideas that are contrary to what I believe, but their topics do not discourage me from reading them. I do not mind reading about ideas, beliefs, or lifestyles that are contrary to mine because that’s how we learn. As long as the author isn’t trying to force me to accept their point of view and clearly explains whatever point he is trying to make, I will read it. Sometimes I surprise myself and agree with something that I initially disagreed with because of how the writer presented their argument.
I’m pretty liberal and open-minded about things so I hardly feel conflicted about what I read, however books like She by H. Rider Haggard drove me crazy because it was obvious that the narrator and the author is ethnocentric, racist, and misogynistic and though I despised much of his thoughts, I admired how the book was written, though it was a boring read, and was interested in the adventure. There have also been books like Scarlet, the second in the Lunar Chronicles, a YA sci-fi series by Marissa Meyer, where the character or plot does something that I do not agree with; in this case, entering into an unhealthy relationship.
I also read many articles and blog posts that I do not agree with but my curiosity to know why the writer believe as they do keep me reading and sometimes even drive me to strike up a conversation to know more about their motivations.
An example would be the various discussions floating around about Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmet Till called “Open Casket” that was included in an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City. Many artists called for the painting’s removal and destruction because a White woman dared to do a painting of Emmet Till and display it in a museum, which also angered me a little considering the history here, but ultimately I think such censorship is damaging. Despite my strong opinions, which are contrary to the popular opinion (destroy and remove the painting), I continued to read articles and personal posts surrounding this because I was interested in the topic and wanted to learn why people held such opinions.
In both cases, reading She and the responses to Dana Schutz’s painting, I was angry as I read (I was mostly frustrated while reading Scarlet), but that didn’t stop me from continuing to read and wanting to know more.
What I’m reading this weekend:
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Some of y’all might remember that I was crazy hooked on The Strain TV show (it comes on FX) last year. Well, I found and bought the book and now I’m hooked on the novel! It couldn’t be helped. The story starts out slow and for a couple pages and a chapter or two, I feared that I wouldn’t like it. But, like the strain itself, the story slowly creeps up on you and next thing you know, you’re hooked and can hardly put the book down (even while your eyes are tearing up as you’re getting your braids put in cause your head is so damn tender! (I still can’t touch my head. I could hardly lay down my head on the pillow last night! (Okay, I exaggerate but my head is so tender y’all!!!))).
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, narr. by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
This is a reread by audio book. Basically I had an Audible point and didn’t know what to reread next so I chose this because I own the fifth or sixth book and would like to read it. It took a while to get used to Kramer’s voice, which sounds like an old-school sports announcer to me, but after a while the texture of his voice didn’t matter and I found myself hooked on the story again. However, the dynamics between men and women in the story is still annoying and so is Nynaeve.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illus. by Jim Kay
My library is an awesome place, I’ve realized. I went there couple days ago and was able to borrow the illustrated version of the first Harry Potter book. Now I don’t need to buy it! (Right? I hope I’m right. I hope (pray) I won’t want to purchase it.)
Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
I’m still working through this with Emily from Embuhlee liest. We’re both becoming more and more interested in it as the story progresses, but OMG, it’s emotionally exhaustive sometimes.
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
The second book in the Inheritance Cycle, a fantasy series that I enjoyed overall but this second book is sooo slooowww. OMG! I got bored and put it down for a while.