Monday, 23 January 2012

Controversial reading

Just over a month ago, Mammasaurus tweeted an opportunity to join the team behind her newest brainchild Love All Blogs.
If you haven't come across it yet, Love All Blogs is a brand new blogging network, which supports any and all bloggers by providing, amongst other things, a weekly showcase into which you can enter one or more blog posts in order to attract more viewers, and a Community Network in which you can ask questions, find support and get to know others.

Mammasaurus has entrusted me to write the weekly introduction to the Love Book Blogs Showcase, which is incredibly exciting but also a little daunting, given that I'm still very new to the world of blogging. Anyway, as I'm now 3 weeks into my new role, I figured it was time to actually mention it here!

Although I've been given free reign to write about whatever takes my fancy in my weekly intro, I'm trying to keep it relevant and I've decided to use it as a space to encourage book-related conversations amongst the blogging community (or anyone else that may read the showcase) and to hopefully inspire more posts that can then be entered into the next showcase.

This week I've asked:
What have you read that was surrounded by lots of hype and what did you think of it? Was it deserving of the media buzz? Maybe you’ve read something that caused you to change your life in some way, or affected the way you think?
 For me, three books immediately sprang  to mind:

 Like many others, I loved Judy Blume books with a passion and when the rumour mill started at high school that she'd written a book with actual S.E.X in it, every single one of us wanted to read it! "Forever" was on permanent loan out of our school library and the waiting list to read it was immense! As a child, I recall it being a very  tender story of first love and losing your virginity. As an adult, I found myself questionning the healthiness of their relationship and thinking it was "for the best" when they broke up. It's funny how time and a bit of life experience can change your view on something isn't it?!

 Ah, "Flowers in the Attic" that sunny afternoon read all about child neglect and incest. I can remember reading this book as a teenager because I couldn't begin to imagine why such shocking and taboo topics would be the subject of a novel or how they would be addressed. My memory is faint on my reaction to it and I'm tempted to add it to my ever-growing reading list to see what I make of it as an adult and mother.
 There was so much hype regarding this book that I gave it  a go even though I wasn't particularly sure what it was about. For me, this book is the equivalent of films such as "Saw" and "Hostel"; so-called torture porn with scenes of horrific violence for nothing more than violence's sake. I recall it leaving a very nasty taste in my mouth and I would never read anything else by the author.

So those are my "controversial reads". What are yours? You can tell me in the following ways:

  • Leave a comment
  • Hop on over to the Love All Blogs Community Network Forum where I've started a thread on this topic
  • Tweet me using the hashtag #conreads
  • Write a blog post (and if you send me the link, I'll even spread the word about it on twitter for you)
Lets get the conversation flowing x


bluebirdsunshine said...

I'd love to read Forever again to see what my adult self makes of it. I remember thinking it was the best book I'd ever read when I read it aged about 12. I think I might be a bit more critical now. On second thought, maybe some things should stay in the past and I shouldn't read it again, I'd probably be disappointed!

Mummy Plum said...

There was definitely hype for me around Forever. The librarian told my mum she thought it was unsuitable for me as I was too young. Of course I wanted to read it even more then. (I waited until she was on hols and then got it out the library anyway.) I remember enjoying it - and being a little surprised reading about 'Ralph'(I think that was the name of his manhood?. I'm sure Forever was a rite of passage for many young girls in the 80's...but still, in my house, it was hidden under the bed.

I read all the Virginia Andrews series in my teens. I quite enjoyed reading these - I must have done, to read the subsequent ones. I don't think I paid much attention to the incest element at the time, it was the imprisoned, dark fairytale angle that drew me in - maybe I justified their 'togetherness' because of this. I can't really remember! I agree, I'd quite like to read this one again and see what I made of it as an adult.

Anonymous said...

I never finished American Psycho - I found it too difficult, for the same reasons you mention.

My controversial read is probably Catcher in the Rye. It is billed as a seminal book that will change your life. I found it dull and nothing-y. I read it at a reasonably young age, so perhaps it went over my head, but I have no real call to read it again.

Congrats on the position in the Love All Blogs writing too! :-)

The Last Slayer said...

Part of me thinks it should stay in the past but I also think you'd probably enjoy reading it again. It will transport you back to school days but leave you thinking "what was all the fuss about!"

The Last Slayer said...

Oh my god, yes I'm pretty sure "it" was called Ralph!!! Rite of passage is definitely the phrase I'd associate with reading "Forever".

We'll have to re-read "Flowers in the Attic" at the same time and then see what each other makes of it x

The Last Slayer said...

I've never read Catcher in The Rye but I've been surprised to find out recently that there is a love it and hate it camp for it. I'd assumed it was one of those books everyone HAD to read and would enjoy in some way or another.

...And thank you for the congrats :-)

MsXpat said...

I didn't realise American Psycho was a book first. I enjoyed the movie. Totally forgot about Flowers in the Attic but I remember as a teenager it was taboo and I never knew why, lol. Must find it. Interesting topic for a post.

The Last Slayer said...

I didn't see the film so I'm not sure how faithful it was to the book. Maybe you should give it a try? One thing I've learnt since getting involved with Love All Blogs is that what one person hates, another loves. I'm going to try and include a blog prompt in each of my weekly introductions so if any of them take your fancy, I hope you'll join in xx

miss_claireeg said...

Ooh I'd love to read Forever and Flowers in the Attic again! I remember feeling very grown up reading both of those. Just wish I could stay awake long enough to read more than a few pages... ;)

Mammasaurus said...

I have not read forever or Flowers in the Attic - but I will try to. Right that's it I'm making a decision - and actual decision! Off to the library tomorrow for me! But which one would you recommend the most?

Love All Blogs said...

That was Jekyll and now here I am as Hyde ;)

Thank you for the mention and all the super work you are doing with Love Books for LAB - it is much appreciated (even if I always seem too busy to say thank you) x

Kelly AKA Muuuuummy AKA The Wiffey said...

A friend recently named her baby boy 'Ralph', I bet you can imagine the only connotation I had with that name!

The Last Slayer said...

I know that feeling! I used to be able to sit and read a whole book in an afternoon. Now I'm lucky if I can get through a couple of chapters in an evening :-D

The Last Slayer said...

Based on how busy your work with LAB and your own blog is at the moment, I'd recommend Forever, as it'll be a relatively quick read and it's not taxing. However, if you fancy something a bit more grown up, go for Flowers in the Attic first x

The Last Slayer said...

Oh dear! The same would have popped into my mind aswell! And I would have felt so guilty for thinking it!

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