I admit that when I see the inspiration section in the library or book store, I think one thing: religious fiction, particularly of the Christian persuasion. This is an unfounded assumption, due to the fact that until recently, I’d never read a book from that section. And I thought to myself, “We all know what happens when you assume…”
So, at the beginning of the year, I resolved to read five books from my library’s inspiration section. There were no specific parameters to the resolution. (But I’m not reading series, even if I might read the first in a series, and I’m trying to get some differing stories, by different authors.)
I have been surprised to find, having read two of those resolved five, that there is pretty much no religion in my inspirational picks. Religion has been mentioned–there’s just no way of getting away from it being mentioned in a story about the Amish (The Shunning by Beverly Lewis). But it was practically nonexistent in my pioneer story (Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke) other than a fairly minor character praying at meal times. In fact, Love Comes Softly had “historical fiction” on the back cover; I definitely thought it fit that genre more than what I had been imagining for the genre of inspiration.
This isn’t to say that religion won’t play a larger role in my last three picks for the resolution–I’m very certain it will play majorly in Left Behind by Tim LeHaye, which I plan on reading. But, again, I’ve decided to try not being so narrow minded and it has been a fairly enlightening experience thus far.
This post really could be titled “Memoirs of a Quarter-Lived Life”. There is a growing trend of young people out there, especially in the famous population, of writing autobiographies before the age of 30. Some write them as young as 17, such as Justin Bieber. And I am left wondering, “How can they even have experienced enough for an autobiography?”
Sure. Actors and singers have busy lives, but that doesn’t exactly merit an autobiography. I think they should just do what normal people do and write in a journal if they feel they won’t be able to keep the memories. Having lots of memories is not the same as having lots of experience, and I’d rather read about the later.
I really enjoyed reading some memoirs in 2011, but those were written by people who have lived most of their lives, not a small portion. I particularly enjoyed Julie Andrews’ memoir, which actually only focused on her life before her film career. Yes, she wrote about her childhood memories, but there was stuff in there about her first marriage, first house, first child, etc.–I’m not saying you can’t have a life worth talking about if you don’t have those things. But I’m sure Justin Bieber (as an example) has very little to discuss–especially as his career as a singer has only existed for a couple of years.
If you want to write about your life, and are under the age of 50, find an empty journal. I will not bother reading a memoir by a person under the age of 50, because I feel it just can’t have much bearing before that.
Hilary Duff has done it. So has Lauren Conrad. Even Snooki has one. Heck, I’m sure Lindsay Lohan would have one if she wasn’t constantly in jail/rehab.
What do all these young American actresses/reality-TV “stars” have?
Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. They are “professional authors” in the technical sense that they have sold their work. And I’ll admit that until just recently, I was upset that these young ladies have published books. I would have said that they are spoiled and no one would have offered them a book deal if they hadn’t known the books would sell on their name alone. I’m still skeptical that they wrote draft upon draft before they submitted their books to a publisher, like many a new author.
But then I realized something. Does it really matter to the normal reader how a story came into being? Sure, these girls may have been handed a deal on a silver plater. Heck, they might not even have written the books–ghost writers exist for a reason. I know some readers may be more ethical when they choose what authors to read. But personally, if I think a book summary sounds good, I should put it on my TBR list, not taking into account how the author got it published. I don’t mean to offend any writer out there who has tried for years upon years with loads of different stories to be published–I’m sure books by these young ladies probably made a publisher overlook an equally deserving story with a “less deserving” (in their minds) name for books that would sell to fans of the famous.
I should not overlook a book written by a young famous person as a book that was only published because of the famous name. These books have the same probability of being a book I like than any other book out there by less-famous names.
Though, I confess, I would probably feel a little self-conscious about being seen reading LA Candy by Lauren Conrad–people might think I’m some ditzy girl who’s only reading it because LC wrote it. (Hate to admit, it but I can be self-conscious about that stuff!)
Yesterday I realized something that shocked me: I am reading four books at a time. For a girl who would have said a year or so ago that I couldn’t read more than a book at a time, this is pretty strange. I think I figured out the way to read multiple books at one time–read books that are completely different at the same time. For instance, right now I am reading The Count of Monte Cristo, set in Napoleonic France; The Lake of Dreams, set in current day eastern New York; Tsotsi, set in present South Africa; and Love Comes Softly, set in the 19th century American frontier. If any of these books were remotely similar in any way, it would be harder to distinguish between them. Plus, I think it helps that there are designated times and places to read each of these books: I read CoMC at work during the kids’ naptime; The Lake of Dreams is an audiobook, so I read that in the car while I commute; Tsotsi is the book I keep at home; and Love Comes Softly is the book I keep in my car, to read before spin class on Mondays and/or Wednesdays, depending on my friend’s schedule (I have 2 hours between work and spin haha).
Now, the question is, “Do I actually like reading multiple books at the same time?” As far as I can tell, I suppose I do like reading like that. I think if I hadn’t so many situations where it’s easier to keep a book somewhere and read while I’m there, I would be reading fewer books. I am fairly certain I haven’t read more than three books at a time before this. I slowly started to read more and more books at the same time, therefore I think I’ve just slowly acclimatized to keeping multiple stories in my head.