The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Moon, The White Queen and other nonsense

This picture of my tattoo (which is reversed) relates to CAKE! Read on for more details.

I write about a lot of "other nonsense" -probably because my life is filled with nonsense. Nonsense is not bad. In fact, it's quite wonderful a good deal of the time. It just doesn't fall under the heading of the Reading Corner.

For instance, Jonah baked me a belated birthday cake with my tattoo done in the icing -not only is that awesome, the cake was also chocolate/peanut butter/hazelnut flavored. Is he the best or what? Or, another example, my little sister got a part in a local production of Seussical the Musical (she's a jungle creature).

Other examples include: what I'm wearing (as much as I love my fashion blogs, I do not follow their examples -jeans and tank tops are about all you'll get out of me. I am comfortable this way, and nobody is interested in seeing me get gussied up every day. Well... some people might be, but I don't have time to make myself look like a million bucks every time I walk out my front door. I'm cute enough as is. :P ), what I've eaten (this and drinks can be filled with one word: COFFEE. If I could eat coffee as a meal every day, I would -chocolate covered espresso beans do not a good meal make, sadly), where I've gone (unless it's the bookstore/library) or what I'm watching (unless I can make it work).

Fortunately, I tell you about most of those things anyway! That's why I allow myself room to write "other nonsense." Because I am more than my face in a book. Not much more, perhaps, but it doesn't hurt to know that I have stuff going on outside writing. It reminds me of it, anyway. I have a lot of cool things going on in my life. :)

So! Books.

New Moon the movie, as you well know, is coming out in November. Holy Jesus am I not excited about this occurring. As a backlash against the ever rising tides of Twilight-related hysteria that I'm seeing with the imminent release of the movie (which I'm sure will suck as much as the original), I wrote a review of the book New Moon and analyzed it from the (accurate) Edward-abuses-Bella (who is an idiot)-standpoint. Fun times!

I also reviewed another book I haven't read (and don't care to) called The White Queen. If you're into historical fiction, this is totally going to be your thing. If you don't give a rat's ass about it, it's probably not. I'm not into historical fiction -the reason for me being that if I want to learn about history, I'll read a history book. Rewriting history and fleshing out characters who were actual people with actual lives to make them best-selling fiction is not something that interests or pleases me. I like my history factual. Why the rewriting? Why the fictionalization? Is it just to get people interested? My high school history teachers did a decent job of getting me interested in history. Which is made up of facts.

Perhaps the only fictionalized historical account I've ever enjoyed was Loving Frank. Mostly because a major portion of the book was comprised of actual letters and journal/diary entries, newspaper reports and other, similarly factual pieces of FACT.

I'm slowly edging onto my soapbox about this one. Can anyone defend historical fiction to me? I'm all for fiction writing, creative nonfiction (which includes some liberal amounts of truth-bending, believe you me) and what-have-you but historical fiction is a genre I just do not understand. Why take an actual story that other people lived a really long freaking time ago and add a bunch of fiction to it? Not only is it confusing and misleading, it seems to smack of intellectual laziness to me. If you're going to go to the trouble of researching a time period and specific individuals in order to write about them, why wouldn't you publish a nonfiction account of it? If the story is that super exciting, it shouldn't be much harder to sell copies.

I just don't like it. I'm not expressing it well, but the genre as a whole pisses me off a bit. I need coffee before I "accidentally" kick someone in the face.

In other news, I've been writing about Halloween. Have a significant other? Want to go to a Halloween party with them in a matching costume? This is the article for you. Want to not die while out trick or treating? This is the article for you.

I need to get something productive done. I haven't written yet today and my writer's guilt is kicking in. Or something.


  1. You know I hate to be critical, but I've got to say, isn't the majority of history subjective? A large amount of what I was taught in school turned out to be fiction, anyways, so one could easily ask "what's the difference?"

    Really though, I just think it's a bit strange that you hold up science fiction and deplore historical, because it seems to me that they're the same in a lot of ways. Take this setting, different from our own, outside of our immediate experiences and contexts, and show us a plot, a point, an interaction of characters that helps us understand or feel something more fully. Whether that means the Summer of Love, 1899, or the enshrouded third moon of the planet Doffa, the quality of the writer and their story is going to show through.

    Now, it is true that some authors would be prone to use historical events as a stand for their hack, but I feel this is little different than using dragons, dystopia, religion, or vampires as a way to move copy. It's atrocious, but it happens, and the good literature stands apart. We may also be standing on different denotations for the term "historical fiction"; I highly recommend Rafael Sabatini's "Scaramouche" as the best-written book I have ever read (which certainly fits into this genre).

    Pardon me if my understanding is inherently flawed.

  2. Ursus, you certainly can follow me -I'd be delighted. :)