Thursday, September 15, 2011

I love comic books, sometimes I wish I had thought bubbles, do you see anything?

We were having a discussion at work the other day (Have you noticed that if I am talking about students I call it "school" but if I am talking about colleagues I call it "work"? Funny.) So I was having a discussion with coworkers, and one of my fellow English teachers was saying that he is always reading 4-5 books at a time.

This is true for me.

So I just finished the last book of the batch that I was working on. And I must admit I am now at a little bit of a loss. What do I start? I have two books that at this point are kind of looming over me -- Beloved for my American Lit class, and Team of Rivals for book club -- and both just feel really daunting right now.

It feels like most of this last batch of books that I have read have been non-fiction. And so then I needed a break.

The non-fiction review:

Mars and Venus on a Date by John Gray

My friend Julianne asked me to read this. She wanted my opinion on it.

The story: Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like -- a "men are from mars, women are from venus" approach to the dating world.

The review:
Point 1: I liked this book a whole lot better after I decided that I didn't have to read every word. Yes, by reading between the lines, you should reach the conclusion that there is something wrong. This book is horribly written. It is extremely repetitive and the examples sound like they are totally made up and not based on any actual people. After reading so much really good non-fiction, I was truly pained. I went so far as to use this as an example in my writing classes of what not to do (despite my embarrassment about the topic).

Point 2: I was really turned off by his emphasis on "soul mates."

Point 3: After I stopped reading every word, it actually was more enjoyable and I could see the validity of certain points. I even laughed at one section. But here's where I am a little hung up: he insists that in order to have a successful relationship women need to stop being so self-sufficient, forget the things that have made them successful in their careers, and need a man so that the man can then provide and can feel all warm and fuzzy. Well, my hang-up is this: how do you form a mutually-beneficial, evenly-yoked relationship if that is your beginning?

Point 4: He says that opposites attract. So if you are not religious, start going to church and you will meet your soul mate. So where do the atheists hang out?

Point 5: Can you tell who it is marketed to?

The mindless entertainment fiction read

Declaring Spinsterhood by Jamie Lynn Braziel

I bought this for $1 on Amazon. I love Amazon.

The story: Chick-lit. A girl turns 30, decides she has had enough of her family trying to find her a guy, and says no more. Naturally she then realizes she's in love with her best friend. Oops, I didn't say "spoiler alert," but let's face it, you knew that was going to happen before you even opened the book.

The review: I needed mindless entertainment, and this was a great provider of that. I finished it in less time than it takes to watch a movie, and it was cute, cheesy chick-lit.

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