What happens when a book an acquaintance lauds as the best book ever contains a plethora of racism? Awkward right?
Suggested, favored books can reveal things about the reader, perhaps things they didn’t want you to know they held interest. In the past, knowing this, sometimes made me a little self-conscience about the things I list as “read” on Goodreads. I often thought about leaving a note in the comments section,”Guys I’m reading all these children’s books for work, not because I lack or am too lazy to engage higher level thinking.” Over time, thank you life matriculation, I have thought less about the ratings and the content of my lists of books (read and want to read) and whether they would offend browsers until someone whom I have known casually, but considered to be quite ethically evolved, placed a book in my hands and said,”You have got to read this, it’s was so amazing. I loved every single thing about it.”
I read it. I thought about it, really took time to examine my thoughts. I even measured my analysis against the Internet’s popular opinion and concluded that I did not hate this book but I sure as heck did not love it. It has so many problems regarding race, feminism and other polemical ideals. I was later asked what I thought about the book and I told her briefly that it was not my “cup of tea” but thought it had an interesting plot.
I was honest but I still walked away empty. I could tell by the energy between us that there was no space to unravel and discuss the issues that had led to my discontent. I felt that the openness just wasn’t there and that made me sad and defenseless. I do not want to reveal the title of the book because I do not wish to defend my position or argue about my feelings.
Maybe I went into reading the story with too many preconceptions, maybe she didn’t even notice the issues because she was so taken by the plot. Perhaps I saw problems that were uniquely part of my journey not hers. I decided not to judge my book buddy for her suggestion… at least until we have a conversation.
What about you, have you had a similar thing happen to you?