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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Books and Authors

I have been to a bunch of book readings over the years.  I would get all excited when it was someone I would really like... but one thing I noticed is that frequently they were NOTHING LIKE their book personality.  Based on how they write I would assume they would be a certain way --since I enjoyed the tone of their books.  Ha.  Nope. I actually stopped going to readings because it would ruin the books for me.  Remember Robert Fulghum?  Everything I Needed to Know I Learned In Kindergarten?  It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It?  There was one story of his that had me snorting coffee out of my nose, so inspired by his humor I went to a reading. You know what he did?  He looked up from his book signing and had a conversation with my chest.  Eyes on the front of my shirt. (It should be noted I don't particularly wear tight or low clothing, and there was nothing written on my chest.) You know this man was a church leader of some sort?  That simple gesture on his part ruined his stories for me, which is so stupid, because he is the same person who wrote the stories.  I guess I just didn't think a 60+ man who writes funny stories would be such a dog.  That is my unrealistic expectations coming up against reality.  And I am sure he is a very nice grandfather... just with a bit of traditional sexism thrown in. 

Or when I went to a lecture by author Sue Hubbell.  A Country Year: this was my favorite book for many years.  Turns out she was a bit of a pretentious look-down-your- nose academic. The stories I thought were charming, were actually her barely tolerating the characters in her community, usually the ones with less, either money or education.  I described her as 'east coast", but I mean no offense to my east coast readers, it is just that she had an internalized class system which she talked as if she was above most other community members by sheer virtue of education.  This was when I was younger, and I thought the whole U.S. was like the Pacific NW... egalitarian, fiercely independent, book lovin' (that could have something to do with my mom being a librarian, I think I got a bit skewed in my perception.)   Excruciatingly naive on my part, I know. 
I have always been susceptible to moral judgements on people.  Good, bad, right, wrong. Major character flaw on my part.   There is music I won't listen to because a band member was accused of rape, or walked out on a wife and kids.
For the record, there has also been authors that impressed me way beyond their books.  Ursula K. LeGuin  filled a giant music hall with people, and she was worth it. Sherman Alexie is astounding. Quick witted, hilarious, bluntly direct.
This whole rant is leading somewhere.
1.  I have been cleaning out my books and clothes.  My aunt just sent me Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich.  It is a quick read, light entertainment, and ready for a new home.  Send me an email  that you want it and it is yours.  This is not a contest, basically the first person I hear from gets it. Even though I just ranted my head off about him, I also have two Robert Fulghum's.  He is gently funny... they are books representing a time. Send an email, I will drop one in the mail to you.
2. I always remember the above lessons about authors when reading blogs.  We blog writers may be totally different in person than represented by the written word.  My naval-gazing, every-little-thing, little view of the world is not something I talk about when you meet me. I have met a local blogger that is pretty widely read and she is nothing like her perky effervescent blog.  Blogs for some are marketing devices to make money, and they are marketing themselves.  For the record, I am so obviously not in it for the money.  You have to have non-offensive, non-opinionated, perky postings for that.  Some days I am just too damn cranky.
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