reviewing when I'd rather be reading

I keep thinking of how to describe the way some books are annoying me lately. But there is no way in hell I'm putting this stuff down on the interweb. Not only is it not my job, but it's not what I want to be in the world. I want to love the books. I want to clutch them tight to my bosom and whisper about all the pleasure they've given me.

Only now that we've come this far, I wonder if any of you were as annoyed by the heroine in True Blue as I was? I'm not aiming for the creative snark, here, but God, she was a PITA. Her side-kick that she somehow snagged was more golden retriever than man. He followed along with her schemes, getting shot at etc, whining about the fact that he was a lawyer and could lose his license but never actually doing anything like calling her on the bullshit. Like, what the hell? Who bought the idea that her snooping around, not using any kind of standard procedure, on a case that had nothing to do with her down-fall was going to get her reinstated? Anyone?

Not that she'd listen because she had nothing in her soul but the need to be a cop again. She couldn't imagine a future without donuts and sitting in chuckles or whatever those groups of cop cars are called (I'm going to look it up, actually, because it was a fun word). She'd risk her life, her freedom, his life, her sister's career and everything else -- just to get to wear the badge again.

And her sister. WTF? Chief of police in DC? No, I don't think so. There's no sense of that city, btw. Not that I can complain about scene setting -- I stink at it. But hey, I know from DC and that was one generic city in that book. Not DC

Good news is that if I want to whine more about Mace and Beth, I"ll have another chance, any second. I can see that there is a series coming along any second featuring these two kick-ass sisters***. Talk about obvious MORE TO COME endings. And did I mention how annoying those are?

Well. But. Speaking of hypocrisy, which we weren't but should have been, I just realize I was guilty of hell of it. No, I was guilty of sexism. If this woman was a man (which, essentially, she was. There's no sense at all of her female self.) would all these TSTL moves annoy me? Not so much. The dark knight hero who takes risks because He Must seems to be something I accept.

And the woman had a kick-ass motorcycle. I must remember this.

* * *

But back to me and not True Blue and Mace ("the weapon" people kept saying. I wanted to say "it's a goddamn spice used in apple pie." And the origin of her name? No, sorry. That explanation of motherly venom was just silly.).

I said, Back to me. The underlying trouble. I seem to be annoyed by so many books lately. Instead of reviewing them and moaning, I'm going to change me, not the books. I'm going to go through a twelve step program instead. Because I LOVE BOOKS> I want to love them and not get all hung up on this crap. Here. I'm going to release the anger. My steps of returning to the fold. Bringing back the love of books.

I tell myself:

1. You don't have to finish every book

2. You don't have to love every moment/character in the book.

3. It's not like you're such a great writer yourself

4. In fact, it's not about your books, Kate. Read the book in your hand and leave your stories behind.

5. Suspend reality. Don't get hung up on that "is it possible?" stuff. Same goes for TSTL. Obviously, if the character survived, she isn't too stupid to live in that world after all. MMMMIRite? Live in that world. (For instance in True Blue, I could think of the city as LeCe, and pretend it's nothing to do with DC)

6. Shallow can be fun.

7. On the other hand.....You can pick up a book with some substance and survive the experience. Maybe it's time to go for literature again.

8. Or not. Your choice. See one.

9. Go with the flow. I mean, who died and made you Judge of All Books? Huh? Just let the experience happen without the peanut gallery responses and you'll be a happier camper. Just ask Quayle and the Samoans.

10. Ask yourself: Why do 11 million readers love this book? This person is a best seller so he must be doing something right. Look for what they are getting out of it. What are you missing? You know, maybe it's YOUR FAULT and not the book's problem after all. Stop worrying about the lack of character development and concentrate on the clever plot. Or whatever.

11. Or fucking stop reading the book.

12. Don't do it. Don't pay all that money for the new Evanovich. You loved the Crusie you bought on impulse. Be glad. That should be enough for now. Don't go looking for trouble. In fact. Until you've gotten over this case of hypercritical, it might be time to revisit some old favorites.

12A. Or turn to old enemies. Everyone else in the world seems to be reading Atlas Shrugged. (wtf is with that? Do we all have to turn Galt?) Wade through a chunk of that again. All other writing will gain new sweetness.

UPDATE: This is a pretty lame list. I wish you'd come up with better.

***They are equipped with a label that says that. Kick Ass. You know they look for that when they lean in to get a better look in the mirror every morning. "Kick ass." Might be backwards because, you know, that mirror thing. But it's written right across their foreheads and Mace for sure has to check for it daily. Beth, not as much. She has her four stars on each shoulder to remind her. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah


  1. I'm actually digging your list. I especially love 1, 7, 8, and 11. :)

    Egads! Is Atlas Shrugged back?

    I personally hate when the "strong, daring" female protag is simply a man with breasts. It's odd to me that this occurs so often. There's no reason why an actual, real (with vagina) woman can't be strong and daring so why do they have to be men in disguise? To me it's just another way of saying that women aren't equal to the task. Ugh!

  2. Oh, don't, don't buy the new Evanovich book. You'll only be sorry. (Or so I assume, since I gave it wide berth at the

    Verification word: haticrum. Is that a real word? The fulcrum or tipping point in which love switches to hate?

  3. Step away from the Atlas Shrugged.

    A guy who's written fifty books--they start to wear on me. The first ten had to be great to get him his contracts, but then do they succumb to star syndrome? Do you want to pay to find out?

    My verification word is "birsabi," which surely is some Zen-ish variant of wabi-sabi having to do with books.

  4. Rachel, I hear a lot about how the men in Rrromances are just women with penises so I suppose it's all about the same. Except that heroine in that book had too much testosterone for a standard man. Not sure why it bugged me so damned much.

    jmc. I bought it. I have no one to blame but myself. NO ONE.

    Ann Marie. You have to admit that a few chapters of Atlas Shrugged can do wonders for the rest of literature. It all looks so bright and shiny and NON-preachy.

    (And I can once again feel I am human, "a piece of the continent, a part of the main", by not succumbing to the Fuck The Lesser Among Us mentality of that Galt. It's always nice to feel superior to people who are convinced they are superior.)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

My Writing Day with an Unproductive Brain