Thursday, October 25, 2012

Join In, Please!

The thing I love best about blogging is how it connects me to so many amazing different, brilliant, and fun people. I love when we have all read the same thing or watch the same show or see the same movie and we can talk about it. I like it because I believe a book is never just a book, etc. They are vehicles through which we can know ourselves and each other better.

I love nothing more than some good navel gazing about my reading habits as I'm sure you're all aware. Every once in awhile I stumble across something brilliant someone has said in the blogosphere and it stays with me F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Like, I still remember this post of Jason's (btw Jason I miss your essays please write more sooooon) about taste and this comment from Emily about how the best thing about readalongs "is that one starts to have a shared repertory of literary references with this group of people" I think that made me....I don't know long for that. I keep trying to have that! With the way I structured the Faith and Fiction round table last year, especially. I wanted a group of people to read a series of books together. But it ended up not really working. And this year the more open ended format has been even worse. But I absolutely love the idea of shared texts, I like thinking I can reference one thing to someone when reading a totally different book and they will get it because they read it, too. In fact, I have read a lot of books this past year alongside a friend and it's been fab, I've enjoyed it so much. (Pretty soon we're going to go our separate ways reading wise and I'm actually kind of bummed about it, hi Caitie! if you are reading this. On the bright side Hannah will be reading a book with me. Yay!)

This leads me to the other thing that someone said recently that I feel a bit slow for not having thought of before. Ana wrote when trying to decide what books to bring with her when she moved, "I was very aware of how the books I read were in conversation with each other; of how everything I added to my mental literary map became a resource that I brought to future readings; of how the direction I picked as a reader affected the kind of reader I became." This is and thoughtful and I feel ashamed that I have never really consciously thought about it like this. I mean I can see how the books I read affect the future books I read, but I so rarely make decisions based on this. I am very prone to picking up something that's close or that fits in my purse or that I feel guilt over because it's a review copy (less and less these days, though!) I like the idea of being more intentional about what I read, though. And not just in isolation, but together.

Anyway! All of this to get back to my original point about talking about stuff together. I want to remind you of three discussions coming up and ask you to join in! I often set dates for discussion and then don't pimp them enough. So I wanted to take special time to remind you!

The first is a discussion of Darren Shan's Zom-B on Sunday the 28th. This would be an excellent example of a book I picked up because it was small. But there's a lot to discuss in it and I really hope you've had a chance to read it. If you haven't, you still have time. I think it uses the zombie narrative in a really interesting way and I can't wait to discuss!

The second is Film Club. Our participation in this is always pretty low, but I want Carrie to know that I always enjoy watching and discussing with you, even if it's just us! :) On Tuesday October 30th, we're discussing The Garden at Carrie's blog and I'd really love it if some of you could join in. If The Garden is not your cup of tea, we discuss a different movie every month and we've made the schedule way in advance so that you can locate the movie.

And finally, the last Faith and Fiction Round Table read is December 1st. We're reading The Final Martyrs by Shusaku Endo. You do not have to be a person of faith to join in, and I'm secretly hoping for a big turn-out. It might be the final one? I don't know. We'll see. Endo is a very interesting writer, though, and I think this one will be good.

Please join in and let me know what you think about anything I've said. And for fun, here's a poll about which TV shows you're watching. Please answer the poll, because unanswered polls are among the saddest things ever. You'll probably have to click through to do so, though. (and good lord I watch an embarrassing number of shows!--in all fairness some of them Beauty and the Beast will probably be cancelled)


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