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Book Talk & Exchange of Views > The Good Ol' Reading Public

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message 1: by James (new)

James Everington | 187 comments Don't read this if your blood pressure is already high today:

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/20...


message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments The Bible one had to be a total troll.


message 3: by James (new)

James Everington | 187 comments It was the one that talked about a children's book as "having good graphics" that made me want to kill...


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Well, that author is known for great illustrations.


message 5: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
"more degrading than Harlequin romances" -- To Kill A Mockingbird

"the message is all wrong. He talks back to his mother" -- Where the Wild Things Are

"These apostles need to get a clue and hire a ghost writer." -- The Bible

Crawling around on the floor laughing. Thanks, James.


message 6: by Will (last edited Jul 25, 2011 10:34AM) (new)

Will Granger | 91 comments I teach at a high school and every class has a few kids who could have written these reviews. They love the lame excuse that reading is boring. Most students at my school plan to go to college, and I usually point out that they will be reading much more at the university level. I realize that is me just being argumentative, and I love it when I get them to read something that they end up really liking. For example, my advanced students loved the first half of On Writing by Stephen King. I think one of the very best things I can do for my students is help them enjoy reading.


message 7: by Scott (new)

Scott Bury (scottbury) | 29 comments One problem that classics like The Grapes of Wrath might be facing in kids today is that, because they're classics, they've been copied so badly and so many times that, by the time today's HS students get to them, they've seen the stories as cliches in movies, TV shows and bad books. The kids don't appreciate that the classic came first.

That being said, not every book is for every reader. Personally, I can't stand Jane Austen's work.


message 8: by Andre Jute (last edited Jul 18, 2011 09:54AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
The remedy is in your own hands. You could instead of The Great Gatsby choose Anton Myrer's The Last Convertible as novel of another lost generation, or for the Vietnam generation James Webb's A Country Such As This is superb. Just to name two less obvious alternative choices for any high school syllabus, both of which are highly original and probably easier for students to relate to, and also help with civics instruction.

The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer A Country Such as This by James Webb


message 9: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Classics sometimes disconnect from the lives kids lead.

And then you have that whole new level of lewd and perverted classics, the zombie Pride and Prejudice or whichever novel it was I saw recently.


message 10: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Will teaches at a private school of the Episcopalians. They'd fire him for just knowing what a vampire is. My choices are sneakier. James Webb was a Secretary of the Navy under Reagan and is a highly decorated Marine, no limp wimp even if these days a Democratic Senator.


message 11: by Patricia (last edited Jul 20, 2011 04:27PM) (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments "...no limp wimp even if these days a Democratic Senator."

Grrrrr


message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Blood pressure? I laughed so hard it must have reduced mine to dangerously low levels...

The author of that article should expand upon it and publish on Kindle as a book of humour: 'Kids Write the Darndest Things', with the byline - Literature students express themselves on reading.


message 13: by Ken (last edited Jul 18, 2011 11:59PM) (new)

Ken Getting apoplectic over the unrefined 'reading public' is far easier than asking *why* people are no longer interested in books like Anne Frank. We might find that those who *are* literate also happen to be relatively privileged: economically, educationally, and otherwise. Worse still, asking 'why?' might require action of us--like working to repeal laws like No Child Left Behind, which requires teachers to teach to nationwide standards, rather than literacy (as schools used to). Far easier, and far more self-serving, to assign the blame on the individual illiterates. Wouldn't want to disrupt our Patrician pretensions of having earned our own literacy--really just another translation of 'pulling oneself up by one's own bootstraps.'


message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken As an addendum, I don't mean to disabuse anyone of the self-esteem building practice of ridiculing people less fortunate than oneself.


message 15: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Duh! I never had long pants until I walked the 300 miles to college to take up my scholarship, with my only pair of shoes around my neck so as not to wear them out prematurely.


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Yeah. I didn't bother with clothes when I was a kid. I just pasted thousand-dollar bills over my body then settled down to read Anne Frank while the servants fanned me with the palm leaves.


message 17: by Maxine (new)

Maxine | 4 comments Umm, if you want to see reviews like the ones in the article, you don't have to go any farther than Good Reads and I would assume (although perhaps wrongly) that people are on this site because they like to read, not just for the sparkling conversation. For example, the top review a couple of weeks ago was for Ulysses by James Joyce in which the reviewer claimed

1. to have read it in an hour and a half while cleaning out his aquarium and
2. it was a pointless piece of shit
Sadly, a whole lot of people seemed to agree with him.

At the same time, the number one book on the list of Best Books Ever was Twilight last time I looked.

I don't believe this has anything to do with economic circumstances (they all own computers so not that poor) but with the inability of many people to distinguish between the objective and the subjective. I don't like something, ergo it sucks.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken Andre Jute wrote: "Duh! I never had long pants until I walked the 300 miles to college to take up my scholarship, with my only pair of shoes around my neck so as not to wear them out prematurely."

:)


message 19: by Ken (new)

Ken Patricia Sierra wrote: "Yeah. I didn't bother with clothes when I was a kid. I just pasted thousand-dollar bills over my body then settled down to read Anne Frank while the servants fanned me with the palm leaves."

Wasn't aware there were thousand dollar bills. And I thought I was privileged.


message 20: by Ken (last edited Jul 20, 2011 03:32PM) (new)

Ken The notion that illiteracy has "nothing to do with economic circumstances" is far more obtuse than those who don't understand James Joyce.


message 21: by Ken (new)

Ken Why don't we just reinstate literacy tests?


message 22: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments There were thousand-dollar bills available in the past but they're no longer circulated. You'd have to find a museum or private collector to see one today. There was even a five-thousand-dollar bill in the past, but I didn't want to be showy about my wardrobe so I stuck with the thousand-dollar bills.


message 23: by Ken (last edited Jul 19, 2011 01:42PM) (new)

Ken You'll have to hook me up with one your private collector friends so I can see one of these; unless, of course, you just googled it. Also, kudos for taking the humble route w/ thousand-dollar bills.


message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Just saw some thousand-dollar bills in a movie a few days ago. Can't recall what movie it was, but the money was for a ransom payment. I wish the $5,000 bills were still around. It would make it so much easier to carry a million bucks when I go shopping.


message 25: by Ken (new)

Ken Patricia Sierra wrote: "Just saw some thousand-dollar bills in a movie a few days ago. Can't recall what movie it was, but the money was for a ransom payment. I wish the $5,000 bills were still around. It would make it so..."

I gotta see this movie, about "thousand-dollar bills," "museums," "private collectors" and "ransom payments." Sounds ambitious.


message 26: by Patricia (last edited Jul 20, 2011 04:28PM) (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments It wasn't about museums and private collectors; it was about an abducted woman and her zillionaire daddy paying the ransom in thousand-dollar bills. If you really want to impress someone, carry the $100,000 bill -- the largest piece of paper money the US ever made. I sold some gold coins and silver certificates not long ago. That's as close as I've come to being a collector, aside from having known a coin dealer who's now in prison for a multi-million-dollar scheme he executed.


message 27: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Patricia Sierra wrote: "Yeah. I didn't bother with clothes when I was a kid. I just pasted thousand-dollar bills over my body then settled down to read Anne Frank while the servants fanned me with the palm leaves."

OMG - I'd have killed myself if I was drinking something when I read that.


message 28: by Andre Jute (last edited Jul 20, 2011 03:15AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Maxine wrote: "the inability of many people to distinguish between the objective and the subjective. I don't like something, ergo it sucks."

Our resident commie-pinko-fellow traveler-leftie, Ken (he may prefer "social conscience"), may have something. Did you know that people need a chemical, kerotonin, secreted in the brain, to distinguish reality from their dreams? (I read it in a book I'm editing for reissue, Andrew McCoy's Meyersco Helix, so it must be right). A child is educated to distinguish the objective from the subjective, the latter being all there is when it is a baby. Logic, which is a constant subtext in many school subjects if they are well taught, refines that distinction. A very great deal of college education is about the deliberate separation of the objective, all the sciences for instance, but many "soft" subjects too; almost all postgrad work in psychology has to do with the deleterious results of confusion between the subjective and objective.


message 29: by Ken (new)

Ken Andre Jute wrote: "Maxine wrote: "the inability of many people to distinguish between the objective and the subjective. I don't like something, ergo it sucks."

Our resident commie-pinko-fellow traveler-leftie, Ken (..."


Traveler-leftie's fine. It's got that kind of outlaw vagabond thing going for it.


message 30: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Here in Ireland "traveler" is a euphemism for "Gypsy".


message 31: by Ken (new)

Ken Ireland, huh? Is Cormac McCarthy big there? Or is it more a case of that old proverb--prophets garnering admiration everywhere but their hometowns?


message 32: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Ireland, huh? Is Cormac McCarthy big there? Or is it more a case of that old proverb--prophets garnering admiration everywhere but their hometowns?"

I don't know who's big here. I don't watch television, I don't read a paper, not even my own paper of record (the one I write for when I condescend to do journalism), and I don't have the radio on in my study or studio, I play music instead. If something is important for me to know, someone always tells me.

That said, Cormac McCarthy is definitely in my library.


message 33: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments "If something is important for me to know, someone always tells me."

I love that. I've wasted much of my life following the news, getting worked up about it, and then weeks or a year later wondering what the big deal was. I quit the local paper, but do look at their website. I quit TV last December and haven't missed it. The radio is on only for parts of the weekends or in the car (always NPR because everything else here is talk radio filled with anger and politics). I don't play music much; I like the sound of silence too much.


message 34: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments hermits?


message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I can only speak for myself, but yes.


message 36: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "hermits?"

To get your blood pressure under control, first decide your priorities. Sierra and I have successfully adapted to the age of information overload. We seem so well-informed because we're not derailed by trivialities.

Less is more.


message 37: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I've spent the last 3 years ear-deep in the changes in the publishing industry and the finer points of writing and editing. While writing, editing, publishihng and marketing.

And I'm also a tech, so I'm keeping up with the latest verison of Windows, cell phone aps, doing some repair work and website building on the side.

Plus the Real Life details.

I would be bored silly as a hermit. I'm a consumate multi-tasker - have to stay current.


message 38: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments My daughter is like you and can't understand my lifestyle at all. She keeps asking, "Aren't you bored?" and "Aren't you lonely?" No. And no.


message 39: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I've worked with computers since the 1980's. You have to be able to constantly upgrade your knowledge or fall far behind.

I can spend a week in my own company and not be bored. There aren't enough hours in a day.


message 40: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I could spend a week in your company and not be bored, too...


message 41: by James (new)

James Everington | 187 comments "Only boring people get bored"

Spot test for Robusters - who said this? Given comments above, Google not allowed!


message 42: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 1099 comments James wrote: ""Only boring people get bored"

Spot test for Robusters - who said this? Given comments above, Google not allowed!"


My mother. All the time!


message 43: by K.A. (last edited Jul 23, 2011 06:06AM) (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments My mom used to say 'I've got plenty for you to do!'

LOL

@James - Don't you know that curiousity kills Kats?


message 44: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
James wrote: ""Only boring people get bored"

Spot test for Robusters - who said this? Given comments above, Google not allowed!"


Hint: Edmund Burke never said it. He was too well-mannered to point out that he was surrounded by bores.


message 45: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Madonna?


message 46: by Will (new)

Will Granger | 91 comments Andre Jute wrote: "Will teaches at a private school of the Episcopalians. They'd fire him for just knowing what a vampire is. "
That's one reason why I use a pen name! I just wrote a short story about a vampire that is not pleasant and that is purposely different than Twilight.


message 47: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Um - Will? If it is "purposely different than Twilight." That means you read Twilight.

EWWWWW!! You are better off reading the parody written by a fellow LDS member. THAT'S funny!

Seriously - you are better off reading 'The Black Dagger Brotherhood' at least that was written for grown women.

Just stay away from 'Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter' or your eyes will bleed.

(Just kidding Claudine!)


message 48: by Claudine (last edited Jul 26, 2011 12:53AM) (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
LOL @Kat!

Will, read the Anita Blake series, all 20 of them, and then come chat to me once your bleeding eyes have healed. :D Black Dagger is ok, sortof. Someone loaned them to me because, in her words, they had the best sex scenes. I don't do romance or sex scenes much. Blah blah blah same old formula blah blah blah some hot sex blah blah blah there was a storyline???

Kat, I have to admit though that after finishing the Anita Blake series I am quite looking forward to the next one. The characters have grown on me I am almost ashamed to admit :)

Also, Twilight made my eyes bleed. Jesus H Christ on a pogo stick but vamps were never meant to shine like bling! The ick part....a grown man falling for a newborn.


message 49: by K.A. (last edited Jul 26, 2011 06:30AM) (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments She really icked it up in the last couple books.

With the exception of the first book, I just read the parody - which was plenty squicky.

I met JR Ward at the local bookstore when she came in for a signing. I shook her hand and got two autographed copies of the 'Angel' series. The BDB book, I've yet to read.

Ward herself is a hoot! FRom the great time we had, you would have thoght she was a standup comic. The book store was PACKED.

Also, if she isn't anorexic, I'll eat my hat! She's the skinniest human female I've ever seen.

http://jordanscroft.blogspot.com/2010...


message 50: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 1099 comments Kat wrote: "Also, if she isn't anorexic, I'll eat my hat! She's the skinniest human female I've ever seen. "

Totally off topic, but please don't say things like that. My teenage son has huge trouble putting on weight, even though he eats plenty. He finds being called 'skinny' as offensive as I'd find being called 'fat'. Maybe she suffers from the same overactive metabolism as him.


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