Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Head Just Exploded

You know that moment when someone mentions a book you adore and then rips it apart and your jaw is on the floor and you wonder what the hell that person was reading because it isn't the book you love?

Hellzapoppin, I think my brain quit on me.

Thing is, since Jane's disclosure of her Jen Frederick alter ego, I've not been visiting DA as I used to. But this morning I popped in and saw someone had made a comment on Lord of Scoundrels so I read the thread and I just fucking died.

Beside the hate for To Kill A Mockingbird (which is my all time favorite book ever ever ever) readers were eviscerating Lord of Scoundrels. Oh my God and What the Fuck?

So here's the thing: We currently live in 2015 in mostly civilized countries with electronics and Kim Kardashian and pizza. We're not living in historical times or with historical values. These books are about a time before Martin Luther King and psychiatry and today's social mores.

Why the fuck are they being judged like they were published yesterday?

And by the fucking way: To Kill a Mockingbird isn't at all about celebrating racism. Atticus Finch was fighting racism and trying to keep Tom from going to jail. Scout learned so much in that book and it was fucking brilliant. Remember the time it was written and stop judging it from your 2015 life. At the time it was ahead of its time.

And LoS... people hated Dain. Called him a bully and all sorts of horrible names. Disliked Jessica too because she was perfect and didn't grow enough in the book. Someone boo-fucking-hoo'd Dain for having a bad childhood. (Read the book again.... he had a tortured childhood and was lucky to have not offed himself as a child.)

I love LoS and it's one of my go-to reads (like Motorcycle man which I hated the first time I read it and Crazy For You which I read maybe four or five times a year because it's a perfect book).

I just can't do it anymore. I can't take these casual intellectual discussions about books I love. I can't read people hating what I love. So I'm done with it. Done with intellectuals. I'm declaring this space a smart-free zone. Take your college degrees and go away.

This space is for dummies like me. People who love books for what they are and not for some idealized world that didn't exist.

And if you have anything bad to say about my favorite books, do not leave a comment.


  1. Love To Kill a Mockinhbird - one of the books we had to read at school that I can happily read again now, with my will and not against :D In fact, I had to buy a new copy last year because my original is toast.

    I agree with the using 'today' to judge things from the past comment, even when you're only talking about something as far back as the 80's. I guess some people just don't have the imagination to explore outside their own comfort zone. Kind of sad really.

    You know I'm a dummy, so can I stay? :)

  2. Lea, you have to stay. You might be the only person left who'll talk to me ;)

  3. Always :) In fact, I miss our talks. Even the ones about nothing in particular... Will have to try and co-ordinate better maybe? :D

  4. Amen sistah. You're still my one and only Skype, ya know.

  5. Aww :)

    We should do it again, although you might need to ring me first (on skype) as I only have your old number, pre Hawaii. Imagine, getting a call from someone in Hawaii...

    ps. I am imagining :D

  6. Times do change and so do beliefs and attitudes. But that's no excuse to whitewash history. We study history to learn from it although we never seem to. It's the same with books. If you're reading a 30 year old book, you should realize going in that it's probably going to differ from today's beliefs.

    As far as LoS, I agree with you , Lori. There's a reason that book is the #1 on so many romance lists and that's its hero and heroine and some damn fine writing.

    Why do people want to take all the fun out of reading??

  7. I don't know that having people being all self-righteous and elitists offends me quite as much as it does you.

    I mean, there are books I read a while back that I loved, books that I re-read a few times over the years and still loved, and then, at some point, started to see where they were problematic for me.

    Do I enjoy those books less after that happens? Not necessarily, but I do get how and why other people can't/don't enjoy them to begin with.

    For example, I have always loved Agatha Christie's mysteries even though her xenophobia, antisemitism and racism are pretty obvious. Would I be able to overlook those things in something published anytime after say, the sixties? Probably--almost certainly--not, but I see why some people can't stomach any traces of any of those things in their reading.

    I adore, adore, love, LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory. To me, that's such a perfect love story. The setting, the characterization, the language...everything about that book, to me, is just fantastic.

    When I first posted a review of it (hosted, ironically, at Dear Author), some of the comments criticizing the book (mostly because how Lula Peak is written, i.e., slut shaming) took me aback. Shocked me, really.

    Seven years later, I see where those comments are coming from, because slut shaming is a very real thing, because I have a daughter who lives in a world where being a sexually empowered female is still sin, because I see slut shaming everywhere around me.

    I still love the book, and I still think that, if Lula Peak's characterization can be considered slut shaming, it doesn't detract in any way from the story or the writing.

    What other readers see...well, it's in a very real way, their business.

  8. You are 100% correct AL. But having someone look at something you love and saying it doesn't deserve love just irks the shit out of me.

    And I adored Morning Glory. What a fantastic fucking book.

    Still, when I read the remarks it does and will fill me with rage. Because what was socially acceptable 50 years ago can't be held to the same light nowadays.

    Howevs, that's my issue. And I shall continue to scream into the void and you may tell me to keep it down :)