The snow is back.
And I can’t wait to read Kyra’s book and I wish she’d write mine.
And Ally has another book launch party Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Provo City Library.
And Carol is a good Mom.
And I am so tired.
How do I get so so so tired and I haven’t done my writing quota for the day. It’s only 8:43.
I also have been distressed because I recently finished a book that I liked. A Lot. I really really liked it. I thought I’d buy it for people for Christmas. I kept thinking about it. I wanted to reread parts. Blah blah blah.
So. I was telling Cam about it.
And before I keep going, let me say, Cam and I are good for each other because we both have an incredibly hard time suspending belief. Because of that we are critical to a fault of movies, books, TV etc. We are annoying, I’m sure, but we have the best time watching things and ripping them apart together. I also think he’s smart and we are usually (umm, I am now thinking of lots of shows he loves that I don’t like so maybe this isn’t as relevant as I thought–hello firefly?) are on the same wavelength.
So I told him about this book.
I love it.
And I kept asking him questions about facts in the book.
Does this really mean this?
Because I am naive and not smart sometimes.
So finally, yesterday, he started to read it for himself. By the third paragraph he was going, you’re kidding right?
You’re kidding. You like this?
I sort of started to panic. Umm. Yeah. You don’t like it?
No. The voice is so annoying, he said.
Are you serious? Who would really say “insert quote here?”
I stammered. Umm. I think plenty of people would say that.
He read one more page and put the book down.
This sort of broke my heart. And made me feel like an idiot. I was like, how could he not like this? Isn’t this a good book? Why would he disagree with me? With ME? I’m his wife and we like and uhhh don’t like the same things. ThenI thought, is the voice annoying? I reread the first few pages and okay, I could see his point.
Then I went online and started reading reviews. I skipped just to the negative ones and all of them said similar things to what Cam had said about the voice, etc. John Updike even said some pretty scathing things about the book. Overly sentimental, too wordy, agenda-driven. And these are things I would think I would tap into. Was it overly sentimental? Was it wordy even though i thought the voice lent itself to that? Was there an agenda for sales? Also one person wrote something like “i may have liked this book back in my twenties when I took myself seriously. Now I’m older and don’t mind being square and admitting when a cool book is bad. Really really bad.”
This made me even more self conscious.
But then, there were tons and tons of good reviews. Really good reviews. Amazing reviews really. And I saw that many of them had the same experience I did.
It was such an interesting process. I started reading more reviews. Then I stared at the picture of the author. Then I read reviews for his other books. Both good and bad. Then I wondered if he read these reviews? Then I thought about myself as a reader. How do I decide what is good? And what does good mean to me? And do I care if I like it and he doesn’t? Does that make him a better or worse reader than me?
On one of our first dates, Cam took me for sushi. I had never had sushi before and he said, oh you’ll love it.
I had never really liked fish at all up to this point but I thought he was cute, so I said that I’d go. That I’d been dying to go maybe. So we went. And he ordered me Nigiri which means not in a roll. And my stomach turned when they brought it. He was staring at me and I was smiling pretty at him but inside I was dying and I took a bite.
Oh my gosh. I thought I was going to throw up. I really did. But I chewed and chewed and chewed. Finally, i got it down and he said, so????
And i said, It’s interesting.
My eyes were watering.
Yeah, I said.
Then I steeled myself and picked another piece.
He stopped me and said, Ann Dee, you know I’ll still like you even if you don’t like sushi.
This made me livid and I was mad and who did he think he was, I would never pretend to like something just because it was cool and everyone else liked it and what did it mean if I didn’t like it? Never!!!
Even though that was exactly what I was doing. It was our first fight and it was because he was absolutely right.
I think this is the same with books. I can still love cam and he can love me even if he “seriously cannot believe [I] made it past the first page.” He has his opinions, he and John Updike, and I can have mine. Who cares what’s cool and what’s not cool. The bottom line for me was I was taken by a character and I felt changed by the book. That was my experience and that’s my standard.
I think. Maybe. If you think so too . . .
P.S. Here’s a Christmas idea that cam sent me. He thinks i should use the above discussed book.