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    April 05, 2012

    Friday Reads & Recommends: The Good Friday Edition

    This is a long profile of Suzanne Collins where she says, "I don’t write about adolescence. I write about war. For adolescents.” Much of it is about growing up with her Vietnam vet dad, and there's a paragraph about her dad reminding her, on a daytrip in Brussels, that castles were fortresses and this beautiful field is a graveyard - sort of reminded me of trips to seemingly romantic places with my own dad. He can never pass up a battlefield.

    This man is an idiot. Adults Should Read Adult Books. He is especially idiotic when he says:

    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. 

    This is a long profile of Peter Dinklage, the absolute best thing in Game of Thrones. 

    I love Peggy Noonan. I know she is not everyone's cup of tea, and I'm sure a lot of you will hate this column on Obama, but I LOVE the way she writes about politics and history and what America is feeling or thinking or doing - I think her writing is so wonderful. 

    I just finished a terrible book called Bond Girl. It's a silly chick lit romance set on Wall Street in 2006, 2007, and (oops!) 2008. The review I read said it had a great perspective on What Happened, but no, not really, it was one of those books where the whole time I was going, "I COULD WRITE BETTER THAN THIS." That said, the stories the author (a former Bond Girl herself) told about working on "the Street" were INSANE. And that is why I ended up reading the whole thing. The money those people threw around is unbelievable. Also, you sort of grow to love those mysoginistic materialistic creeps. I am ashamed.

    I also just finished Amy Welborn's little book about traveling in Sicily with her children after her husband's unexpected death. I'm not sure why I read this when I wouldn't read that book Elizabeth so highly recommended, about the woman whose husband dies when she's pregnant. But I lived in Sicily when I was ten and eleven, and I followed Amy Welborn's blog for years. I'm not sure what to say about it, other than it seemed very raw, very heartbreaking, and it challenged me, made me uncomfortable, made me wonder if I can say, for myself, "God alone."

    There is a new Donna Leon out and OBVS I will be reading that next. 

    I'm going to try and fast (HA HA HA) from the Internet tomorrow. I've been feeling sort of sucked in - more than usual - lately, and tomorrow's a good sort of day for fasting. I've been thinking about all of you, how awesome you are, and I've been thinking about how life-giving it's been to pray for the intentions of the internet. I know that sounds weird. But it's the churchiest of all weekends and I am attempting Reflection. Have a happy Easter, everyone. Mine will be dipped in chocolate, coated with chocolate sprinkles, and drenched in hot fudge. 

     

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    Comments

    I enjoyed that Peter Dinklage article. Happy (early) Easter.

    I have an audiobook, read by Madeleine L'Engle, where at the beginning she talks about that exact thing of reading children's literature. And she says that Wrinkle in Time was turned down by lots of publishers because they said it was children's literature, but too hard for children. I have looked for this speech online over and over again and it isn't there. I will have to transcribe it from my audiobook someday because it is beautiful and EXACTLY right.

    I didn't even READ the article you linked to, about adults reading adult books, and am already FROTHY with righteous indignation. How can anyone recommend disregarding an ENTIRE PANTHEON of writing - much of it beautiful and educational and emotional and transformative and less self aware than a lot of "adult" fiction - like it's NOTHING? ARGH!

    Off to read the other articles. Have a lovely, reflective Easter, Maggie.

    Thank you for the mention and thanks for reading my book. Appreciate it!

    I read the Joel Stein article and I honestly thought it was a joke. Alas, it wasn't posted on April Fools. I usually laugh out loud at his articles, but this one is unbelievable.

    The author of Bond Girl came to a book panel in my city. She was with a bunch of accomplished, literary-type authors and was clearly over her head -- and aware of it. She struck me as someone I would love to drink with and listen to her stories, but not someone who would write a book I would love.

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