Saturday, September 13, 2014

Popular Books vs. "Literature"

There's another one of those endless, obnoxious Facebook memes making the rounds. List 10 of the books that have changed your life, greatly influenced you, were most memorable for you, yadda yadda yadda.

Nearly everyone I saw listed books they probably haven't read since they were in high school. I'll admit I was guilty of doing that. I listed "Siddhartha", "The Catcher In The Rye", "The Bible", and "The Art Of War". Your friends read your list and talk about how much you have in common because you've read some of the same books. Yup, you and your Facebook friend both read "Crime and Punishment" because Mrs. Naugahyde or Sister Mary Dogface ordered you to read it for English Lit. class. Your Facebook friend feels your pain. Then you bond and sing "Kumbaya".

Alexis Kleinman saw those lists and cried "bullshit"! She wrote "This exercise is just one humblebrag after another. "I'm just trying to keep up with my friends! This is what everyone's doing!" you say as you look up a the top 100 best novels of all time and write down the ones from that list that you've read. You're just trying to make yourself feel smarter and make everyone else feel dumb."

I don't agree with her last statement. I think it's more the case that you don't want your Facebook friends to learn the last book you read and loved was "The Davinci Code".

Here is Alexis's list of books that people are reading in Real Life:

1. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
3. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
4. The Phantom Tollbooth
5. The Hunger Games
6. Fifty Shades Of Grey
7. Gossip Girl
8. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
9. The Lord Of The Rings
10. Where The Sidewalk Ends

There's nothing wrong with liking popular books even if some think they "dumb down" the world. I've read plenty of them and they taste delicious.

In light of this article, I've changed my list of books that have greatly influenced me. Here is my REAL list:
1. Everyone Poops

2. Snape/Mary Sue fanfic (all of it)

3. A Sale Of Two Titties
4. Harry Potter and the Amazing, Wonderful Royalty Check
5. How To Write Good
6. Fancy Coffins To Make Yourself

7. Every Dad Is A Good Lover 

8. Scouts In Bondage

9. The Beginners Guide To Sex In The Afterlife

10. Why Cats Paint

(The first and the last five are real books.)

Oh, and just so you know, the book I'm currently reading is George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One". And I'm loving every second of it.

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