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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


A Year in Reading Suggestions: September Recap & October Progress

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms - Laura C. Schlessinger Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity - Kerry Cohen

So ... October is almost over, and I have yet to recap my September progress on A Year in Reading Suggestions. I have good excuses, but rather than list them, I'm going to just dive into the recap instead. This was September's theme:


In September, read a book from an opposing viewpoint.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, so read a book whose author has one totally different from yours. That’s intellectual freedom in action!


I have to admit, this was a difficult month! I managed two books with viewpoints I vehemently disagreed with, and one representing a lifestyle very different from my own.


The Anita Bryan Story by Anita Bryant - Anita Bryant was a crusader against equal rights for the GLBTQ community back in the 1970s. I found her memoir at a used bookstore and I picked it up for two reasons 1) I was morbidly fascinated by how she would justify her rabid bigotry; and 2) I didn't want someone who actually agreed with her to get their hands on the fuel for hatred in this book. Now that I've read it, I'm not sure what to do with the book -- chuck it into a recycling bin and get it out of circulation, or preserve it as a historical document chronicling a debate that still deeply affects people today.


In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Laura Schlessinger - To be clear, I don't "oppose" women staying home with their kids, but I oppose the "viewpoint" that this is the choice every woman should make, or that this is the job for which women are best suited, and just, in general, the "one-size-fits-all" mentality of pundits like Dr. Laura. This book infuriated me probably even more than the prior, I think because I had to hear Dr. Laura's snide, condescending voice read it. Ugh.


Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen - I don't actually "disagree" with promiscuity, but I needed a break from infuriating reading at this point and decided to throw this memoir in because it is from a perspective and experiences SO different from my own. This is the kind of book that can "open your eyes" to the way it might be to live someone else's life, rather than just rile you up with rhetoric, so it was a good book to end on -- beautifully written, and not pushing an agenda.


So, in October, this is the challenge:


In October, read a selection from a local book club.
Check out what your neighbors are reading and discussing over cookies and coffee.


I belong to a book club for adults who like to read YA titles, so I've read three books for the book club this month. The October book (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler), the November book (OK for Now), and a "bonus" Mock Printz Award book (Noggin), since the group does a "mock Pritz Award" meeting in January. I may try to squeeze in one more Mock Printz book before the month is through.