Disagreements! was Re re re recomended books

Ven vendersleighc at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 21 20:56:58 EDT 2002

I wrote

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.

Melissa replied
Shoot, I was afraid you were going to ask that.  

I thought you might be

<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. >>

As I said in the JA discussion, if I "have" to
read a book  I don't like, I get through it by
working out what I think is wrong with it and
composing snarky things to say. Of course I do
this with books that I think fall short of
something or another too, ie JK Rowling.
<I think we're about due
for another really good argument!  :)>

Great! I'm sure we can come up with something

< 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 

I'll take it that way! I had a fearsome RE
teacher, who was rumoured to give an A to anyone
who disagreed with her -- but I didn't know
anybody who dared. As a first year I was truly
terrified of her and couldn't seem to do anything
right. Halfway through second year, faced with
attempting to do another homework in the
trying-to-do-what-I-thought-she-wanted way that I
had till then adopted, I just wrote what I
thought -- and got an A-. I guess that was one
lesson which sank in. 

<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

Also that said book has a number of ways into it
and plenty of space to think in -- but I think
that's what you just said.
I've noticed we differ in our reactions to
certain characters, I think Mitt was one.

<  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 

There's a converse to this that if a writer is
good enough or you like them enough you will read
it even if it's about something that normally
turns you off -- like Stan Robinson when he
writes about people climbing things.


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