Top 5 Wednesday: Polarizing Books

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Books I’m FOR

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Yes, everything they say is wrong with it IS really wrong. I don’t defend the racism of a 1930’s southern author. But this IS the great American novel. I don’t buy the feminist argument that Rhett “rapes” Scarlett. Come on, folks! She wakes up singing and happy as hell.  It’s a fabulous epic because, in spite of and regardless of it’s flaws. It was written by a human before political correctness. If I could change things I would. Gone With the Wind.

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And, though the movie roles were demeaning, they won the first Academy Award for an African American supporting actress–an actress who wasn’t welcome at the Atlanta premier. This book and the movie both hurt African Americans with the grossly demeaning characterization of slaves and slave speech, and yet helped by providing visibility for the racism that was giving rise to lynchings and other unspeakable treatment of African Americans throughout the country during the Great Depression. It made history when the N-word was banned in the film. Gone With the Wind (movie)

 

Books I’m AGAINST

 

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Never say never. These are my brother’s all-time-favorite books, so I do keep trying with them. I made it about 2/3 thru the Hobbit last try.  Hobbit and LOTR

 

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My daughter had to read the whole trilogy in high school English. I can’t even…. I tried. I really tried to read the first one. Unlike Twilight, where I gave up on page one, this one I got thru a couple of chapters before realizing that was valuable time I’d never get back. You can add Divergent in here, too.  The Hunger Games.

 

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Given I’m an Anglophile and love British humor, I should loved this. I don’t. I did finish it. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

 

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Heroin is amazing? Sleeping with total strangers is somehow enlightening? Oh hell no! Gag on this whole book. Wild.

 

But wait! There’s More! A BONUS BOOK!!!!

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Seriously? This gas bag of a book is a huge hit among many women. To me it was vapid and insipid. Just no.  One Thousand Gifts.

 

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28 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Polarizing Books

  1. Lady M

    What is not to love about Gone With the Wind – right? However, as much as I like the movie, I really felt uncomfortable when Scarlett was around Ashley and I did not like how the slaves were portrayed as a general rule in the movie. I didn’t get that feeling quite as much from the book.

    I really, really want to like the Tolkein books. Really I do. We read The Hobbit in my 9th grade class. I could.not.follow.it. because I cared so little for it. I have tried it again as an adult. Same problem. The LOTR books were not as bad for me, but trust me when I say that I enjoyed the LOTR movies and that is REALLY impressive considering how I don’t like the books all that much. The Hobbit movie….still couldn’t get into it, haha!

    Hunger Games – they were okay. I like that genre. Divergent…yeah, let’s not even go there. My oldest daughter liked that series up to the 3rd or 4th book and said forget it.

    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – I like it. Not my top 10, but it was okay.

    I might have really enjoyed A Thousand Gifts, though I know a dear, mutual friend of ours feels as you do (purple prose, I believe she called it, haha!). Maybe it was for me at exactly the right time in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hmmmmmm now “who” would use “purple prose”? lol…. We can all be adults and agree to disagree on which books we like! Of course reading GWTW proved the old addage for me–if girls read romances they’ll never settle for real men. After Rhett it was pretty tough to find anyone!!

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  2. I know I am going to possibly like Gone with the Wind. Offensive things in old books are something inevitable. We are all inside the biases of our times, but, as you say, when a book has a lot of value and worth, one has to put the flaws in context and be thankful we know better, but give credit where credit is due.

    I enjoyed The Hunger Games (maybe because I watched the movies at the same time I read them. The movies are truly good imo). I don’t think they are all that great, just a light read. I never made it pass page one of Twilight.

    I read The Hobbit to the girls, but I also don’t seem to get that excited about trying Lord of the Rings… it’s not my favorite genre either, so something else keeps being more interesting and I don’t make time for those books.

    I’ve started the Hitchhiker’s twice, but I never get to finish it.

    As for Wild, I had never heard about it, but hearing what you wrote, I will never read it.

    I don’t bother with Ann Voskamp. I don’t like her writing. She is very popular as you say, but she is not my style at.all.

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    1. Lady M

      “I know I am going to possibly like Gone with the Wind. Offensive things in old books are something inevitable. We are all inside the biases of our times, but, as you say, when a book has a lot of value and worth, one has to put the flaws in context and be thankful we know better, but give credit where credit is due.”

      Yes – this. I was VERY pleased with the movies for Hunger Games. They were actually cleaned up from what they could have been (they knew their target audience and had to keep that rating lower, lol). Divergent – I was good with and went with my oldest to see the movie. The rest of the series I was less impressed with.

      I did not even bother with Twilight. I knew I would not care for it anyway. I had not heard of Wild, either, but not going to bother, lol!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. thebookprophet

    I loved The Hobbit, but have been halfway through the first Lotr book for SO long! I love the world and writing and all that but it’s just so slow.

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  4. jeannegrantwebb

    So loved GWTW, Hunger Games, Divergent and LOTR. Hated Eat Pray Love and the purple prose thingummy. Haven’t read Wild, and don’t plan to after your comments.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post – I love your comments about GWTW which is one of my favorite books because of its epic story. It’s hard to say that and not address the racism portrayed throughout and you put it just right. I actually loved The Hunger Games series, but I didn’t like how the movies told the story, except for the first one. I also thought The Hobbit was hard to read, but I loved The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Keep on reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the movies AND books, but there’s more to the story in the HG books, you are right. Without being stellar, they are about friendship, love, and a good example of big dilemmas in small lives.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I haven’t read most of these in your post. But I did just read the entire LOTR trilogy over the past 10 days! It is my second time reading them. I would love to pare them down a bit, (a good bit, actually, for those of us who aren’t Tolkien fanatics) but I do really, really like the story. There is just so much GOOD in it.

    The only other one I have tried is One Thousand Gifts. I am currently on Chapter 4. Or 5 or 6 or something. I brought it with me this month, but just can’t get myself to pick it up. There is good stuff in it, but what is with her writing??? Is English not her first language? Is she just trying too hard to be modern and emotive or what? No one talks like that, so reading like that is so awkward that it gets in the way of what she is trying to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, what about The Great Gatsby? Do other people like it or why do teachers require it for school? I found nothing in that book that drew me.

    And, concerning the Tolkien books, I’d say if you don’t enjoy them don’t feel that you should read them. Especially if you got that far into The Hobbit and still didn’t like it. It took me three times to get into it, but when I finally did, it was only after the first chapter or so. No shame in not liking them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Jeanne!

    How is the whole universe liking Wild? (Lol, my whole universe is full of homeschooling moms and I never heard about it? )

    I cannot think of a remarkable or well known book I don’t like at all (The Great Gatsby didn’t impress me as much as I thought, though). I am going to think about it and come back to tell.

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  9. sjbraun

    Whoa girl — popular post!! I loved GWTW — thanks to you for encouraging me to read it. I really get annoyed when people complain about a book due to PC reasons. It’s a product of its time; leave it as it is! I’m currently a bit over halfway thru Hitchhiker’s — sheesh, painful. I don’t get the appeal at all. I asked my daughter the other night, “Is this whole thing going to be them on a spaceship?” and unfortunately, she said yes 😦 I consider LOTR every now and then — many love it — but I’m just not into the whole fantasy genre overall. Enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See? I’m not the only one who “should” get Hitchhiker and just plain didn’t like it. Smug is the word that comes to my mind–but that could be because I tried an audio version with Stephen Fry reading. I’ve liked him in a few movie roles, but otherwise he’s not my favorite.

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  10. I’m with you on Wild. I did not get the rave reviews. Between the heroin and the sex with strangers, and then taking on something she was completely unprepared for and surviving basically just by chance, I felt like it was nothing but a chronicle of bad choices. I do love the LOTR series, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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