Sunday, January 17, 2010

What I'm Reading

I just finished The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was disappointing. It's supposed to be about a writer who's commissioned by a mysterious publisher to write a book 'with the power to change hearts and minds'. A dangerous book.

I love the idea of the dangerous power of words, and the Faustian aspect sounded intriguing. But the reality was much more telenovela/melodrama than sophisticated magical realism. You know what I'm really sick of? I'm really sick of men who languish and pine over beautiful tragic women who have absolutely nothing to their character other than being beautiful and tragic. What's fun about that? I mean, if she was beautiful and tragic and could fix a carburetor, or made a mean grilled cheese, or could pop your dislocated shoulder back in effortlessly, then by all means languish away. But nice boobs and long hair and an air of doomed misery? Bleah.

My first lecture for Introduction to Libraries was interesting and informative, with several links for further exploration of various libraries and on-line research sites. I was intrigued by the description of the holdings of one Health Sciences Library, which kept referring to 'knowledge-based health care' practice and information. Knowledge-based health care as opposed to what, exactly? Tossing back a cup of vinegar and nettles and hoping for the best? Denial-based health care, where you ignore the problems and hope they'll go away? Is this not a rather perplexing term?

There was also a link to the Freedom to Read website, which was very interesting. I particularly enjoyed reading the section on challenged books. There's a long list of books, along with the offended party's objection. One of the books is called Trouble on Tarragon Island, and deals with a clear-cut logging dispute:

"Cause of objection—In the novel, a girl’s grandmother joins an anti-logging group and poses semi-nude for a calendar. In the first chapter, several boys taunt the girl about her grandmother’s breasts, calling them 'bazoongas.' The librarian objected to the bullying scene—the Elizabeth School has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying—and to the word 'bazoongas.'"

This did, in fact, result in the book being removed from the shelves, although it was later replaced. It was quite fascinating -- in a voyeuristic, periodically livid, sometimes amused way -- to see the various objections people raise to reading material, and also I really enjoyed the repetition of the word 'bazoongas'.

I'm going to bed with yet another book or four. High hopes for no beautiful tragic suck-wads and maybe a few bazoongas.

4 comments:

Mary Lynn said...

I confess I'd never heard the term "bazoongas" before but now I feel I need to slip it into everyday conversation every now and then just because it's so much fun to say.

BAZOONGA!

Amber said...

I'm with Mary Lynn.

BAZOONGA!

Julie said...

BAZOONGA!

Glad to hear that the first lecture was interesting and got you looking and thinking about different stuff. It's good to get out of your head every once in a while, isn't it?

theycallmejane said...

Ahhh, the tragic, beautiful female. You've hit on the very reason why I don't like the Twilight series for young girls.