In the land of books the reader is king, or so it is said.
I know there are hundreds of blogs out there about books, whether it is writing or reading them. But I have begun this blog alongside my other because I feel that there are hundreds of books that deserve recognition, and many which deserve as much rotten tomatoes hurled at them as I can fit into my small, plucky car.
No book should be burnt because that is ugly and a terrible use of fire, but I am a firm believer in book money not being wasted on disappointing books. With the economic climate being what it is, no one should have to give up books. It is my firm belief that there should always be money for books, and that it should never be wasted on boring, cliched or offensive books.
To clarify, I don’t consider books containing scenes of violence or sex etc inherently offensive. But pornographic levels of either, or blatant misogyny, racism or homophobia will definitely put a book in the bigot bin.
Ultimately, I love reading, and I love discussing books. Books have been my friends for as long as I can remember, and are as much a part of my life as to be sorely missed when they’re not around. I currently work in the book trade as a content writer, having studied English literature up to Honours Level. I will also be doing my Masters next year, so there will be some academic titles appearing on this list over time.
I hope you will enjoy your stay here, and I look forward to receiving your feedback on your favourite titles. If you think I am wrong, I’m happy to listen to your comments and maybe reeavulate my view. I don’t often shift on a book, but often a second or third read makes it more rewarding. (I experienced this with Jane Eyre and Nervous Conditions.)
Welcome to the Ruthless Book List, and I look forward to sharing my reading experiences with you.
2 thoughts on “Delicious Books, and the Reading Thereof”
I’m interested in what you mean by “pornographic levels of either [violence or sex], or blatant misogyny, racism or homophobia will definitely put a book in the bigot bin”.
In what instances are iterations of these themes acceptable? That is to say, if a misogynist (say) character appears, at what point does the book transition from “character exploration” to “anti-feminist text” and presumably land in the bigot bin?
A good question, Trickster.
Take the character of Sherlock Holmes. He is quite misogynist in many ways, but Watson does call him out on it. He also tries to figure out why Sherlock is this way. The author is exploring how such an impressive mind might be a bigoted one, but when one considers the narrow focus of Sherlock’s mind on only the subjects that interest him, then it makes more sense.
Consider American Pyscho, for example. This book explores violence and excess as a social ill, and uses hyper-violence to reflect on society. It was written during America’s most violent crime years. Since (and this is up for debate) the violence turns out to be a figment of the narrator’s mind, we are never sure how violent it really is. This is a fantastic use of hyper-violence as a construct rather than bait for readers.
I will justify my decision with each book, which is always up for discussion. I hope this answers your question?