Re re recomended books

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Aug 15 01:19:58 EDT 2002


On Wed, 14 Aug 2002 15:53:37 -0700 (PDT), Ven wrote:

>Melissa wrote
>
><What surprised me about this list, back when we did the "which authors and
>>books do you like best" thing, was how much commonality there was in reading
>>tastes, as well as how much difference of opinion.  Ven, for example, likes
>>a lot of books that are totally different from ones I like, to the point
>>that I wonder how we can possibly BOTH like Diana Wynne Jones!  (This is
>>what makes her so much fun to talk to and occasionally argue with.)
>
>And this surprised me a bit because I hadn't
>thought our tastes differ that much. Though I too
> enjoy a good clash of minds with Melissa (and
>anyone else going) now and again. Which books do
>I like that you don't Melissa? Can we get a good
>argument out of this?! After the fun we had with
>Jane Austen last year It would be nice to be on
>the defense team.

Shoot, I was afraid you were going to ask that.  Because I can't remember
the titles.  I remembered about Jane Austen of course...the reason you
didn't know it was that in some cases it was a book you mentioned liking on
the List, and I thought, "oh, I really didn't like that book at all" but
didn't say anything because it was sort of irrelevant, and I was tired.
Also, often when I don't like a book, I don't have a well enough formulated
opinion to really argue about it.  And one of my personal rules is that I
will not slam a book publicly if I can't say why I hate it.  I think it's
just bad manners.  (All bets are off in private, though.)  If I can remember
one, or if something comes up, I'll let you know.  I think we're about due
for another really good argument!  :)  Actually, I don't know that our
tastes are so terribly different; it's just that you're the first person I
think of when I think of people who are unlikely to just agree with my
opinion.  Which is possibly some sort of compliment.

But the reason I wonder how we can both like DWJ (okay, yes, that's sort of
hyperbolic) is just my feeling that what *you* enjoy about her books is
different from what *I* enjoy about them.  I get to assuming sometimes that
what I see in a book is the same as what everyone else sees.  And that's
obviously not true.  What is so amazing, in a really good way, is the idea
that two people could enjoy the same book in very different ways.  It
implies that said book is deep and complex, and that to me indicates good
literature.  There are some books that clearly say "you'll only like me if
you like ponies!" or knights or superheroes or whatever.  And some of them
are even well-written, quality books.  But I think there's something a
little richer about a book that can bring together people of different
minds.  It certainly makes for a better discussion.

Melissa Proffitt

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