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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lessons From Mexico, Part II

2. Reading is good. But not all books are good.

Many of you know I recently rediscovered time for reading. When your two-year-old starts putting herself to bed and you get rid of the T.V. it's amazing how much free time you suddenly have. I have an informal goal to read 100 books this year, but I tend to go in spurts when school is out. Over Spring Break I read a couple, both current New York Times Bestsellers.

This one was amazing. Like as in, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, wipe away tears, laugh out loud amazing. I highly recommend everyone go pick up a copy of Little Bee by Chris Cleave from your local bookstore, library, or whatever. The back cover states, "We don't want to tell you what happens in this book. It's a special story and we don't want to spoil it." I'm not going to tell you what it's about either. Just go buy it. You can thank me later.

I left the second book in my cruise cabin. I never leave books behind. It's like a fallen soldier- they must return to my bookshelf. But not this one. It didn't deserve the suitcase space for the trip home. The plot was ridiculous, the characters unbelievable, and the setting never seemed to change. I wanted to gouge my eyeballs out. I would have put it down, but I've already put down two other books this year and it's kind of ruining my monthly average for the 100 book goal. I'm kind of a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, there was a lesson in all this. (Isn't there always?) Book preferences are subjective. I highly doubt anyone could pick up Little Bee and not like it, but I suppose there will be a few out there. And as for the nameless book? It's at the top of the NYT list so apparently I'm in the minority. I can tell you I certainly won't be starting a fan club for the book.

It doesn't matter what your story is. Someone will like it and someone will hate it. Just write it.

What about you? Any books you've read lately that rocked? Or books everyone else loved that you wanted to use as scratch paper?