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Friday, June 1, 2012

50 Shades of Apparently I'm a Literary Snob

Hey there, been ahwile. Lots of reasons why, so let's just go ahead and say I'm back now and leave it at that. :-)

Anyway, so yeah.. This "50 Shades of Grey" thing. Like pretty much everyone, I'd heard about the book, and decided to check it out. After reading the description, reviews, rants, etc., on Amazon, I decided it's not for me.

But then my book club picked it for June, and well, I kind of had to read it. And my initial reaction? Yeah, spot on. I HATED it. It's not that I'm a prude (although after reading the book I realize I might be more than I thought).

The number one reason was that, well, the writing? Not so good. On Facebook the other day, I posted a mini rant in which I basically said that the fact that this book is SO popular and making SO much money is insulting to all of the writers out there who have spent years honing their craft, writing draft after draft only to get piles of rejection notices. And yeah, I fall into that categoriy, so it's easy to chalk my irritation up to sour grapes, which admittedly might be some of the story.

But honestly, even if I hadn't just spent four years and many thousands of dollars on a writing program, I would still feel this way. It just wasn't good.

Well, apparently my opinion raised some hackles, because someone indirectly (because it is Facebook, after all) called me a literary snob. Really? Huh? Hardly. I decided to prove my point by devoting today's post to some of my favorite books. Some literary, some not so much. But these are books inspired and entertained . . . and not one of them had an "inner goddess" or a "Red Room of Pain."

So here it is -- "Kristen's List of Favorite Books that Quite Possibly Make Her a Literary Snob"

1. The All Time Favorite - Gone With the Wind

The first time I read this, I was 15, and enthralled to the oint where I literally walked around the house reading it. I've re-read it about 15 times since then. I just love it. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor.

2. The Book that Made Me Want to Be a Writer - Little House in the Big Woods

When I was about 6 or 7, one of my relatives gave me a boxed set of Laura Ingalls Wilders' classic books. I loved that set, and re-read all of the books over and over. But my favorite was the first, "Little House in the Big Woods." It made me want to be a writer when I grew up, and I can't wait to share it with my daughter.

3. The Book that Changed Everything - Bridget Jones' Diary

It's no secret that I love me some chick-lit -- and this is the original, the gold standard. I read it on a plane to Denver when I was 22, just starting out my "adult life" and I laughed out loud so much people thought I was nuts. I read each age thinking "finally, somebody GETS IT." Still a favorite today.

4. The Book that Made Me Glad to be an American- A Thousand Splendid Suns

Just yesterday I shared this book with a friend who has not read it yet, and challenged her not to be moved. This was a "read in one sitting" book, that made me cry and want to do something to help these women. I was never more glad to be an American, and a woman in America, than I was after reading this book, and appreciate that every day.

5. Books that Made Me Want to Write Better- The Cider House Rules, Poisonwood Bible, The Help

I put the three together because they all did the same thing: kept me up at night, turning the pages, wondering how the heck these people could write so well. Literally from the first page of "The Help" I was in awe -- I actually said to my husband "THIS is how you write." The others had the same effect. Good stories, amazing writing, and, in the case of two of them, pretty decent movies too.

So there you have it, the first installment of my Literary Snobbery list. Stay tuned next week for part 2 of the list . . .  a riding crop may appear, but only to be used in the traditional way.

In the meantime, what do you think? Literary snob? What's your opinion on "50 Shades of Grey"? What's your favorite book? I'm always looking for recommendations!

Until later . . .

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