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"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." --Mark Twain

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Friday, January 11, 2008

I refuse to check another book out of the library until I read the 36 I have sitting on my dining room table, and the 12 pending reserves I currently have. Must. Gain. Control.

I'm currently reading the Maximun Ride series by James Patterson. Patterson is one of my favorite authors, but I hesitated reading this because I don't like reading kids books. I have 5 kids, I only work part-time and most days I feel like all I do is kids and when I read I don't want kids. I grieve childhood books that I never read, like the Little House series and Charlotte's Web. I've tried to go back and read them, but I just can't do it. I have read the Harry Potter books (to see what all the hype was about), the Unfortunate Events series (still struggling with this one) and I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because I wanted to compare the book to the 2 movies, but that's it. I have to really be in the mood, or have a very specific reason for reading, otherwise I can't get into children or young adult books. I need adult situations.
Having said that I love Maximum Ride. I think Patterson is brillient. Some years ago my sister called me a told me that James Patterson was White. "Go on, girl. No way!" At this point, I had only read books without his picture. His portrayal of Alex Cross is so on point, I just assumed the man who wrote him is Black. As a Black woman I can always tell when a Black person is written by someone who isn't Black. Even if they get the feeling and emotions and all that jazz right, something is just "off". I can say the same for a man writing a female character. I was watching Law & Order: CI and the male detective, who is always very perceptive, commented about a victim putting her purse on the floor while she used the bathroom, and the female detective looked at him and shook her head. No matter how perceptive he is, he's not a woman and something will always just be "off". So I just knew my sister was wrong about Patterson. Went to the library and I'll be darned if a White man was not staring at me from the back of a Patterson. I immediately told my husband, who's response was, "Go on, girl. No way!" I produced the book to prove it. James Patterson is White! That is what makes a brilliant writer for me. I don't care if the writing is reminisant of Dickens, or full of profound insights like Camus, I just want to be able to completely relate to what I'm reading. And I want to find it hard to believe the opposite of whatever thought the author has put in my head.
I know that kids can't fly, but Max, Iggy, Fang, Gasman, Nudge and Angel are so well written that I believe them. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but I never stopped thinking of him as a fictional character. The story never becomes "real" to me. Max and his flock are "real". That's the difference between a good book and a favorite: I wanted to find out what happened to Harry, with Max and the gang I have to know.

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Blogger Jeane said...

It leaves me a bit disinterested when I can't care that much about the characters. The books I love, they are really like friends. When I go back after several years on the shelf to read them again, it is like meeting a close friend I haven't seen in years, such a delight.

5:12 PM  

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