At Lit Hub, Rebecca Solnit offers a thoughtful essay entitled
80 Books No Woman Should Read
She doesn’t actually offer such a list. The essay is in response to an Esquire list a few years ago, ‘The 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read‘, that keeps “rising from the dead like a zombie to haunt the Internet.”
“The list made me think there should be another, with some of the same books, called 80 Books No Woman Should Read, though of course I believe everyone should read anything they want. I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty
“Scanning the (Esquire) list, which is full of all the manliest books ever, lots of war books, only one book by an out gay man, I was reminded that though it’s hard to be a woman it’s harder in many ways to be a man, that gender that’s supposed to be incessantly defended and demonstrated through acts of manliness.”
If you’d like to read the whole essay at the Lit Hub site, see the link at the end of this post.
At Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel offers us an infographic
I just took a 30-question quiz on Tolkien and got 29 right. So OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a fanatic. (If you are a fellow fanatic, drop me a note and I’ll direct you to the quiz.)
But you don’t have to have a copy of ‘Lord of the Rings‘ that’s so well-read it’s held together by elastic bands to enjoy this infographic.
A link to the whole infographic can be found at the end of this post.
Another story at Lit Hub is an interview by Euan Monaghan with Ursula K. Le Guin, an author I greatly admire and whose influence is evident in my own books.
Most particularly when she says,
“Like Joan of Arc, I’m hearing voices!”
From the interview which first appeared in Structo Magazine:
Q: Lavinia was your most recent novel. It’s an interesting book to come at this point in your career. I’m interested to know how it came about.
Ursula: I’m not sure how it came about. Okay: I’m reading the Aeneid in Latin very, very, very slowly, with my high school Latin revived as best as I could; sort of chewing my way through. On about the third page of [Lavinia], Lavinia begins talking—“I don’t know who I am. I know who I was,” you know? That paragraph just came and I wrote it down. Like Joan of Arc, I’m hearing voices! I knew who it was, but not quite what was going on—she just went on telling me things, so, okay, I know I’m getting one of these dictated books.
...It was a very odd experience. I wasn’t choosing the way as an author, I was taking dictation, as it were—finding the story as it happened. More and more I realize that in my writing I just find out what happens next. It’s an exploration. I’m not following a mapped road; I’m following a road but I don’t always know where it goes. ...
You can find a link to the whole interview at Lit Hub at the end of this post.
QUOTE of the Day
It’s always been like this in my household, since I was VERY young. I was allowed to find my own level. In a house with lots of books, no book was forbidden – if I had the maturity to understand and enjoy it I could read it. If I wasn’t ready for it that took care of itself because I would just lose interest and abandon it. It’s what made me into who I am today, this freedom to read.
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