Sunday, May 29, 2011

Funny and sad, gritty and grand

I once read a quote from an interview with Vivian Vande Velde, in which she describes T. H. White's "The Once and Future King" as her favourite book because it is "funny and sad and grand and gritty all at the same time."[1] The quote struck me because upon reading it, I realized that whenever I read a book that hit all four of those points, my enjoyment of the book always increased exponentially. For some reason (to do with assonance, I assume), I always remembered the quote as as "funny and sad, gritty and grand," hence the title of this blog.

I love to read, but for a long time I was ashamed of the fact that I didn't love to read "literature." I loved reading things like fantasy, romance and YA/children's books. Every now and then I would read something that people deemed "literature," and once in a while I would even enjoy it, but these books rarely[2] became books I would reach for when I wanted a comforting read. Although I've mostly gotten over this sense of shame, and just read whatever I want, I still feel guilty spending vast amounts of time on a hobby that, while extremely enjoyable, is essentially non-constructive. So this blog is an attempt to make my hobby somewhat constructive[3] - the aim is to write informal reviews/critiques on the books that I read[4]! These will be primarily historical romance, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, children's fantasy, and YA.

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[1] http://www.teddarnoldbooks.com/vivian.html
[2] Exception: "To Kill a Mockingbird." I love that book.
[3]...although even more time-consuming.
[4] ...the definite article "the" in "the books that I read" is probably misleading, as I have no intention of reviewing every book I read for pleasure. Then everyone would know just how much time I shamefully spend reading non-academic literature.


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