This time last week I was writing my Sunday Salon post from the balcony of my hotel room in Mexico - I took a 5 day mini break vacation and it was wonderful (if a bit short). Even though I returned Monday night and therefore only had a 4 day work week, the week seemed long! Fortunately, I had very little planned this weekend so I have been able to take it easy, read and catch up on blogs.
Have you noticed that people love to label literature? I do my fair share of labeling - I think it is human nature to try to group things. It makes it easier to take information on board when it is categorized. Things can go awry, however, when judgments get applied to the labels and categories. Or when books don't fit easily into a particular category and get labeled or judged based on arbitrary attributes such as cover art. Diane Meier, author of The Season of Second Chances (read my review here) wrote an excellent piece on this topic in the Huffington Post (check it out here). An excerpt:
My early reviews were gratifying and the consumer reviews from the Amazon Vine (pre-publication) readers were all five star.
Except one: "My Chick Lit Loving Wife Hated This Book," read the headline.
Okay, I wanted to respond, I'm sorry that you're disappointed, but it's like trying to blame a hot dog for not being ice cream.
What I didn't see was that the chick-lit argument had landed squarely on my doorstep.
Was "The Season of Second Chances" Chick Lit or not? That, in itself, became the general theme of most reviews, professional and consumer.
"Five stars because it is NOT Chick Lit."
"Zero stars because it is NOT Chick Lit."
What? Who asked for this as a mark of critical analysis?
It is a great piece and addresses this topic much better than I can so please read it!
What are your thoughts on judging what others read? A post on Dead White Guys Blog examines that topic as it discusses Book Snobs. Are you a Book Snob? I have to admit, I do catch myself judging what others read but I remind myself that I read very eclectically and no single book that I read captures my entire taste in books and I shouldn't assume that it does for others either. And even if it does, who I am to judge what others read?
Hope you are all having a great Sunday!