Monday, January 24, 2011

Musing Monday...It's Mine...Mine I Tell You...and You Can Not Have It!

An interesting question this week from MizB at Should Be Reading ...

This week’s musing (courtesy of Squidoo) asks…
Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?

Ok, this may sound odd, but in Real Life, as oppose to the fantasy world of BlogLand, I don't often recommend books to read. No, I don't have a problem here telling you I think this is a great book and this is one you should avoid like the plague. But in RL, I am a lot more hesitant. My SIL is one exception to that. She and I have very similar tastes in books, mysteries...violent, scary serial killers (as opposed to the peaceful, non-scary serial killers ;-)..) and if I read a book or she reads a book that they think the other will like, we will recommend it. And until she got that Evil Kindle, we would often loan each other books...but we won't go there.

But that is fine for common, everyday books we enjoyed. Even those that might be our favorites of the year. If I didn't like one she recommended or she hated one I liked, no big deal. In fact, it is interesting to talk about why.
But then there is, for many of us, another category of books that we love. All time lifetime favorites. Maybe ones we read again and again...the ones we would grab off our bookshelves if we had 3 minutes to grab a few to save for the rest of our lives. Books that we have such a connection to that to have them rejected is more personal.
Maybe I have learned my lesson now, but in the past I have recommended them to friends...usually with disappointing results.

One such book, that I will mention to you, because of that whole BlogLand thing is the The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. If you don't know it, it is a 'spiritual autobiography' about a young man, in the 1940, who moves from an amoral, dissolute life to become a Trappist monk...and a rather famous writer. Now, I read this when I was in high school, and a few times since, and it had a huge effect on me at the time. I think it is a great book, a classic and recommended it to a friend..only to be told she really did not 'get it' and found it sexist. Ok, maybe by the standards today it is a bit, since we are talking about the world as it was 70 years ago. I can't say I ever noticed. Ok, maybe Trappist monks are not everyone's cup of tea...
But golly, I am not sure I will be handing copies out anytime soon.
Even if it is a fabulous book.

Another is Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather. I love that book, totally love that book, another one of my all time favorites. A friend was going to the area in the Southwest in which it is set, so I recommended she read it first.
I am not sure she finished it....

I think I may keep the rest of my All Time Favorite List a bit close to the vest from now on.
I understand the desire to share a book we really love.
We think that people we like will love them as much as we do. Which is great when it happens, but way too often may just end up not happening.
Books are a very personal thing. Sometimes, I think, we love a book that just says the right thing to us at the right time in our lives and wins a place in our heart forever because of it. But we can't expect that to be someone else's experience.

Books I like...sure, I will give you a list.
Books I love...I am not sure I want to share.


  1. The Willa Cather book is one that I have been meaning to get to for a while. I love the cover of that edition.

  2. I think we all love a certain genre, and favor it over others. So what I love probably you won't. But, that's the way of life. If we were robots, maybe than we would all love the same books.

  3. Each to their own I say! ;) It is a shame though, when you bounce around excitedly when telling someone about a great book you are really enjoying... and they look as you as though you were mad... laughs

    Here's my POV: Musing Monday

    Sassy Brit

  4. It's always this way or so it seems. Even with one of my daughters (who normally shares my love of many books) cannot understand my love of Anna Karenina nor I her fascination with Crime and Punishment. Jenners and I feel the same way about C&P! I've read people raving about Madame Bovary - that to me was the biggest snore fest going.

  5. Yeah, we all have our different tastes in books. i've never read both of the books you've mentioned, and maybe you wouldn't like my fave books either. It's all good!

    Just wanted to ask about the 'evil' Kindle mention. If you had a Kindle of your own, you would be able to lend books to each other again (or even share the same Kindle account to have access to the same archive).

  6. Yes, true for many of us! Although I like to think of it as, THOSE PEOPLE have no taste!

  7. It sounds like you need to get a smarter group of real life friends! LOL

  8. Kathy, I am sure they would appreciate your

    Kaye, I think you hit it on the head. It is all very personal.
    Maybe the question s/b how we don't take it personally...or we will never recommend what we think are excellent books.

    Diane, I hesitate to say that you will love

  9. See I have this problem IRL where people come up to me and say "give me five books I need to read"! WTF? So I just pull five titles out of my butt? I swear I need to carry around a cheat sheet!

    One book that I loved with all of my heart and soul (seriously top books of all time) was a Western called Outlaw. People look at me like I have three heads, but it is SO GOOD.

  10. I look forward to your Monday Musings responses...always enjoy reading your thoughts and respect you for them.

  11. Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors. "My Antonia" and her short stories, I read over and over. I'll have to get a copy of Death Comes, don't know why I've never read it.

    It's interesting how we all take to different authors and books.

  12. I feel like the odd woman out. I never heard of these authors. Check out my answer for Monday's Musing.

  13. I read the first 150 pages of Merton last year, and intend to continue plodding through it for lent this year. I figure it will take me another 2-3 years because it's very wordy, and I kept falling asleep. It's still interesting, and I want to finish it, but I don't think I've gotten to the inspiring parts yet.

  14. See! Plodding! Another one...


  15. Thanx for dropping by my blog btw, and loved ur answer! (btw, totaly loved the bit in the comment about creating a blog because of the ^ question XD)

    Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic

  16. You have a very good point. There are some books that you love so much that you NEED people to love them too ... and for them not to love them as much as you becomes a problem.

  17. I stumbled upon your post from Jenner's blog and thought I'd barge in.

    I adore Willa Cather and have for years. Death Comes for the Archbishop is a special book for me as it introduced me to 'quiet'! I learned to appreciate Cather's writing with each of her books; I became more patient and more mature as a reader. That was a real surprise to me as I had always thought I was this reader - - I just wasn't experienced, I guess! When I read Cather I was just turning 30 and it was like someone turned the light on for me as a reader. You're right, I don't share that favorite with just's not the 'hottest' title, but it makes my heart sing!! Of course, I still indulge in the 'candy', 'hot' books out there, I still enjoy a beach read on occasion, but I really revel in those thoughtful (thought-filled) books...Gosh I got on a pedestal! Yikes...sorry. I'm not usually so esoteric!

    Anyway, thanks for getting me thinking...but share those favorites here! I will definitely check back and compare notes again.

  18. my, that is a lovely post. I love Cather's writing, especially DCFtA, but I would have said, "I just think she is swell." lol

    In fact, I am just happy someone else has heard of the book.


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