Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One day you turn around and "social studies" has become "Chilean fiefdoms of the fourteenth century" and that's how you know you're in college.

I liked the quote I used in the title.  It reminded me of my senior seminar class (Gender, Sex and the Rhetoric of Science) as well as the definition of tragedy my Shakespeare's Tragedies professor used: "A dream of innocence, realized by a fact of guilt, that acquiesces therein."  You're missed, professor Howlett.

I finished up I Was Told There'd Be Cake and it was hilarious.  I had to hold back from laughing out loud on the T.  Although perhaps I shouldn't hold that laughter back; I might get more space on the train as people slowly back away from the crazy laughing lady.  Of course with my luck this would just encourage a chatty stranger to start up a conversation and then I'd have a new T buddy who, with my luck, would have the same schedule as me and I'd never get any commute-reading done again.  I'm so anti-social during rush hour.

Right, the book.  At first the stories were a little hit or miss.  None were bad, but some just could not hold my attention.  And the more I read the more I realized that the stories I liked were the ones I could relate to.  I don't think I necessarily need to be able to directly relate a story in order to enjoy it but I was afraid maybe that was the case.  I scanned my shelf to see if this has always been the case.  I suppose it makes sense to see yourself in the story, to see something in the story that you've experienced.  But the more I looked at the other books on the shelf, especially the works of fiction, the more I realized that while there are certain elements of the human experience I can relate to, the stories themselves are foreign.  That's why they're so interesting.

I tried to figure out what is different about IWTTBC.  After mulling it over for awhile, I realized it's the tone and style of the book.  It feels conversational, like you're sharing stories with a friend.  And when you listen to someone else's story, you end up thinking up your own story you'll tell as soon as they finish.  Granted Crosley is a better storyteller than I am and I enjoy listening to her stories without spending the whole time reading it waiting for her to hurry up and finish so I can tell my own (in my head) way-better story. 

Of course this is just my personal experience with the book and I know this will be something I pick up when I want to read a quick essay or two.  Do you find yourself being drawn to books that feel like a conversation? 

Title quote from page 183