Book Shame

“Dirty” books. “Trashy” novels. “Fluffy” ways to spend your time. The more I get into this crazy world of being an author (and an author with a loudly-announced love of classic books), the more book shame I see all around me.

There seems to be a barely-articulated expectation that as a published author I decry all books that can’t be classified as Serious Novels (notwithstanding the fact that lots of women’s fiction is not seen as “serious” in their eyes). Even worse, there seems to be an expectation from both genders that women should be ashamed of their reading. Add

MMM – Please Welcome Melissa Maday!

Thanks for all of your comments and visits over the last few days!  Remember, all comments this week are entered to win a copy of Molly Haskell’s Frankly My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited.  Just comment on a blog post this week to win…and watch for a special bonus giveaway later this week!  And now, please welcome Melissa Maday, a self-proclaimed “writer, reader, scholar, Smithie” who teaches college English when she’s not reading, writing, or thinking about literature.

The Wind as Literature – Q&A With Melissa Maday

When did you first read GWTW/what were your initial impressions?

My Bookshelf: A Shame-Free Zone

When people hear about the books in my book about books, they go one way or the other.  Either they’re neutral/excited, or their faces fall.  “I haven’t read all of those,” they say, crestfallen.  Or they read the book and say “To my shame, I’d never read ____________. “

As literary, educated, even occasionally erudite people, there’s always a competitive urge.  We want to be able to check selections off a list, to be included.  It’s fun to be on the inside of a conversation.  It’s fun to be in the know.

Well, fellow bookworms.  I would like to suggest

Contest Time…Two Is Better Than One

I was laying in bed this morning after my first fully restful sleep in a while and thinking about literary duos.  Not necessarily titular (though Betsy-Tacy is not to be ignored), but those great pairings that make my favorite books so juicy to read.  You know…Scarlett and Melanie, or Marianne and Elinor.  Pairs that prove that opposites attract (or never do), who must go through life as heroines or as enemies or, even better, both!

Then I got up and learned from Beyond Little House that today is Carrie Ingalls (Swanzey) Day and thought, “I’m on to something!”  Who can

Writin’ With The Heroines

(Not to be confused with Sweatin’ to the Oldies!)  I’m in Writing Mode, which for my long-suffering boyfriend means having to deal with someone who is clumsier, more preoccupied, and spacier than ever.  But spewing out the world’s most terrible first draft isn’t always (or ever) a cakewalk, and I have reason to call upon “my heroines” for moral support on the way.  Bear with me as I give myself a pep talk and point to five ways my literary heroines, both fictional and real-life, motivate my writing:

  • Writing as fun:  Who can forget the image of Jo March