January 30, 2011

Lazy Sunday Thoughts: The Cranky Post

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Hello, Lovelies! How is your Sunday morning treating you? I have a headache. Maybe I should write a book about it. What am I talking about? The NYT article, The Problem with Memoirs. I saw some discussion about it on Twitter so I gave it a read this morning. It's a divisive article. Some people agree and some people are throwing the E word around (E for Elitist).

He has a point. I'm not saying he is totally right but there are memoirs out there I have zero interest in which seem like an excuse to whine about personal troubles. Life is tough. Bad things happen. Often bad thing after bad thing. Somehow we get through. Do we need a memoir about it? Not always. That's why God invented blogs. And friends.

An interesting story to one person is a boring one to another. It's a matter of taste. Who gets to decide whose life is interesting enough? That's up to the publishers to decide and ultimately the people who read them. Personally, I have no interest in celebrity memoirs but millions of other people do. I'm not the Queen of Publishing so celebrity memoirs will continue to be printed. For the people who read memoirs, do us a favor: review them, let us know as much about them as possible and we'll decide whether or not to read them ourselves.

Now onto other things...

I finished a totally beautiful book this week, The Summer Book. It was short and so good I read it in a day. Lately I can't seem to get involved in a book. I keep finding other things I want to do. I thought maybe I was losing my reading mojo. I was just waiting for the right book I guess.


Anyway, this was a pointless post. I need to get my blogging act together. I don't have any strong opinions lately. Or I don't have the words to express those opinions. Maybe I'm just cranky. I don't know. Damn winter.

Are you cranky lately, readers?

21 comments :

  1. Nice post, Chris. I haven't got much to say in response to it. Just wanted to let you know people (I) do read it. :-)

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  2. I agree with the article (even if the author does seem cranky, too).

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  3. Thanks for the link to the Memoirs article. I review memoirs on Mondays on my blog. It started because there were so many memoirs I was reading. And I have to say I think Memoirs were the "it" in publishing last year, especially celebrity memoirs. You're right though, there are so many stories that I think were published because the genre was so popular that everyone was jumping on the "my story" band wagon, whether or not it justified a published book.

    OK, I'm going to read the article now...

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  4. Jill- I don't think his tone did him any favors with the people who disagreed with him.

    Suzanne- Seems like there were a lot of them lately. I think if I knew more about how publishing worked it would make me sad.

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  5. I'm not a fan of memoirs either.

    If they are celebrity memoirs...what makes someone a celebrity, it's a matter of opinion and most most of them are only celebrities in their own minds.

    If it is a memoir about overcoming hardship, then I may have a little more time for these ... but are these people only looking for symapthy and monetary gain out of what was supposed to be heartbreak.

    I have written some small posts, but when it comes down to actually putting down my thoughts (don't like the word review, makes it sound as if my opinion is superior to everyone else's), I don't seem to be able to put a coherent thought process in place...let's just put it down to the 'January Blues'

    Yvonne

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  6. I love a cranky post every now and then! Winter has me pretty bluesy too, although ours has been rainy, not snowy, but I'm tired of it nonetheless. I would agree with you about memoirs. There are not many that have tickled my fancy.

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  7. I really love a good memoir. I don't read celebrity memoirs or memoirs where the writers bawl about their boring or miserable lives. Heck, I have a boring though not miserable life, and I definitely don't want to read about it much less burden my readers with it. Last night, I just finished a memoir, which is about the author's mother and her struggles. I loved it! Probably my favorite memoir to date, or it's probably not a memoir but just a biography. Anyways, what's the difference between the two?

    Heck, I'm rambling on your blog now, Lol! I'm off to read that article, hope it doesn't make me cranky!

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  8. ha! I like the occasional memoir, i must say. I even like celebrity memoirs because they remind me that's a real person, if that makes any sense.

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  9. I'm not a big memoir lover. For the very reasons you stated - bad things, talk about it, bad things, talk about it, bad things. I prefer a happy ending, which is kind of what I read fiction for. I know that writing the memoir is probably therpeutic for the writer and I support that. I just don't always want to read it.

    I'm in a major reading slump right now and it's about to make me nuts. Home renovations going on and I just can't concentrate. Hope it gets better soon or I may be a little bonkers here in Texas. :-)

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  10. I like some memoirs. I've read a couple in the last year. If the persons life seems to interest me then I will read it. If it doesn't interest me then I won't. What doesn't interest me might interest someone else. Just as is the case with other non-fiction or with fiction for that matter. live and let live is my reading philosophy. :)

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  11. Yvonne- I don't mind the word review. I've always used it. It's just a word. Doesn't mean anything other than 'this is my opinion' to me.

    Shelly- Hopefully this will be the last cranky post for awhile.

    Aths- Ramble away!

    Amy- Someone will have to convince me to read a celebrity memoir then. ;)

    Kay- I hope your slump leaves you soon!

    Zee- The right memoir appeals to me occasionally. I think they are the kind other people might not find that interesting.

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  12. I was cranky lately over an educational book that posed as a genuine graphic novel.

    I read memoirs from time to time. Some have been celebrities, musicians mostly, but I agree there are too many. Justin Bieber? Really?

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  13. Not a pointless post at all :) I hope that headache of yours goes away soon :( Seems like you've been getting a lot of them lately :( I know how awful they can be.

    As for memoirs, you know...I say if you can publish one go for it! The way I look at it, the more that are out there, the better. Not that everyone will get rich off of them or that they'll be bestsellers, but they give people things to relate to...especially ones that deal with issues of gender, race, sexuality, mental illness, etc....I think the human experience is interesting. Not that I'll read every one but I never know when I'll want to learn a little more about something and it's nice to have that first hand point of view.

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  14. I think memoirs are so subjective. Whether someone likes them is completely contingent on whether the reader can get behind the author. Bad memoirs, or ones in which you cannot get behind the author, are torture, but good memoirs can be wonderful. It is always a crap shoot though.

    I hope you feel better soon! Winter has been sucking the life out of me these days too. I'm not necessarily cranky but I cannot get out of bed in the mornings and would much prefer to sleep the day away.

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  15. Not cranky, just eh. Realized the other day I've only written one review in the past month--for a book I read last year! Oh well--just seem to be wanting to do other things.

    I like memoirs but agree that not everyone needs to write a memoir. I like how you mention that's what blogs and friends are for. Ha!

    Hope you have a good week and hope you can find another great book to pull you in!

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  16. John- I don't think we're the target market for the Bieber memoir. Maybe if we were 10.

    Chris- Thanks. The winter air is hard on my head. The 2 shots of whiskey the night before didn't help either. ;)

    Michelle- Yeah, I think the subject has to be one you're interested in as well.
    At least the daylight hours are increasing now.

    Trish- I finished a couple of projects today so hopefully I can concentrate on books now. Though there are some nights I just want to watch the Gilmore Girls and do nothing.

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  17. I'm cranky lately. And all those annoying memoirs that keep popping up make me more cranky. I should write a memoir about my crankyness w/ memoirs.
    maybe with everyone oversharing on Facebook and twitter it will lessen the need for the memoirs. Or people will just start getting their tweets published? hmm..

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  18. Cranky is entertaining though.

    I'm a sucker for a memoir but a good one. It's pretty subjective but I have to say I agree with him on more than a few points.

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  19. Damn winter, is right! I can't believe how fast that snow stuff is falling today! Ugh. I thought I was doing good to not complain while everyone else starts to give in to the complaining but I somehow caught up today. I want to give my dogs something to sleep more?! so I don't have to keep letting them out, brushing them off every time they want in, every 15 minutes. sigh...
    That Summer book looks LOVELY.

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  20. I completely agree with your comments about memoirs. So many seem self-indulgent and, really, not that interesting. I bail out as often as I finish reading.

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