mikarala t1_je7rgkm wrote

Yes, but it's mostly because I love making lists and less because it's actually of any use. I frequently go off-list and don't feel bad if I don't get to a book I originally had on my list and end up reading other things.

I do find this sometimes helps me commit to actually reading some classics that are on my TBR but I'm a bit intimated by for whatever reason, though. The classic I'm determined to read this month is Great Expectations.


mikarala t1_jcwsg29 wrote

It's kind of interesting how popular the series is while Harry himself has always been a fairly polarizing character. I know a lot of people that found him really annoying, but I always quite liked him. Actually, I liked him more when he was at his worst, lol. It felt realistic considering the attention and pressure and how out of his depth he was.


mikarala t1_jcdgfit wrote

I didn't know that, what a shame. I believe she revealed on Instagram a while ago that she's working on a Persephone retelling, which I'm really excited about. I hope she's been able to make progress on it.

Edit: Just want to clarify that I'm not simply hoping she's been able to make progress on the novel purely for my own benefit, although I am looking forward to the book, but because I imagine it being extremely demoralizing not being able to make progress due to chronic health issues sapping all of your energy. I always find it really tragic when the body can't follow the mind, if that makes sense.


mikarala t1_ja6bics wrote

I don't even know the name of this book, but when I was 10 or so I read a book in some kind of dystopian future where all babies are basically genetically tailored to fit their parent's wishes. I think there was some other stuff, maybe the MC met a girl who was born the old fashioned way? But I don't really remember that, just how disturbing this novel made the idea of everyone being some idealized mold created by their parents.


mikarala t1_ja347tc wrote

I'm halfway through and maybe it's my translation, but I find the prose difficult. Or rather, so dull and lifeless that I'm constantly zoning out and missing what's happened.

Kinda annoying because I looked up the most recommended translation and this is the one people seemed to recommend the most.


mikarala t1_j8jekme wrote

> There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.

  • Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

I was really struggling with anxiety and depression at the time, and anxiety and depression over my anxiety and depression, and this quote helped contextualize some of those feelings for me. It made me feel better about the fact that I was going through a hard time, like there was something I could learn from the experience, but also served as a reminder that focusing on my negative feelings would just make things worse.

Not saying the quote like cured my depression, but it was very helpful to me in a difficult time.


mikarala t1_j7g4ma9 wrote

> I don't understand why "I'm not like other girls" is criticized so much

Have you heard of the term "female misogynist"? This is why it's criticized. Basically, women are conditioned to believe that we're in competition with each other over male approval, and the "I'm not like other girls" thought process serves to undermine and belittle other women's interests and accomplishments.


mikarala t1_j7dck59 wrote

Truthfully I think most women have some "not like other girls" thoughts sometimes, although I think it's more common when we're younger. But yeah, even though Lizzie is "prejudice" and Darcy is "pride", I think they both display a good amount of the other's main character flaw. Lizzie is quite proud of her intellectual superiority, and that comes out quite a few times in the novel.

As for craftiness being portrayed negatively, that's just a product of the time, I think. I think when reading Austen, people need to keep in mind that she wasn't some kind of revolutionary seeking to change the status quo. The reason for her longevity in pop culture is based more on her brilliant and timeless satirization of human nature and hypocrisy. As a result, even though I love her work and still think it's relevant, I do think some of the morals, attitudes, and customs in her novels will be a bit jarring to modern readers.


mikarala t1_j6bwoqk wrote

Fwiw, I think that's typical of all Austen novels. Emma is probably the only one that doesn't feel rushed to me, and even then, once the love confession happens it's just a matter of tying up loose ends.

I've always read Eleanor's sudden marriage as another element of satire. We're told the whole book that Catherine is not exactly a classic heroine, and right at the end Austen is kind of like "you just read a whole-ass book about our quaint and naive little heroine who imagined she was in a Gothic story, but all along Eleanor would have fit the mould of a classical heroine what with her tragic romance so much better lol".


mikarala t1_j65l84v wrote

The excerpts I've read of her books read like Wattpad (fan)fiction. AKA mostly bad fanfiction. And at least that's free.

I also think Hoover tends to appeal more to people that just want something easy and accessible to read, mainly young people who don't read a ton or are just getting into reading, and many people who read more regularly are a bit scared of the general public either holding her up as the standard or something to aspire to, like the trend of publishing will move towards books with the same style or quality of writing.


mikarala t1_j5ueagk wrote

I feel like you missed the point of the article. It's not about how a lot of people don't read books, it's about a potentially growing trend of anti-intellectualism that specifically reviles books and denigrates the act of reading them. Take this quote from Sam Bankman-Fried:

> I don’t want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that. I think, if you wrote a book, you fucked up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post.

It is not so much that these people are getting their information a different way, it's that they think the time committment to reading or writing a full-length book, rather than being a sign of some virtues such as patience and erudition, is a warning sign of self-indulgence or maybe even ignorance. (After all, if you read books you might get ideas from spending time with other people's perspectives. This would be bad; a betrayal of the self. Better to be totally subsumed in your own thoughts and point-of-view, that way you can truly know yourself and also that other people are a waste of your time.) The impetus, given the framing of these quotes, is obviously narcissism, but it appeals to a frighteningly large sector of the population that has low attention spans and an aversion to actually practicing empathy.


mikarala t1_j52xlg6 wrote

I read Little Women last fall. Really liked Part 1 when the focus was on their sisterhood, which I thought was portrayed quite well, but Part 2 which focuses more on their romances really hurt my rating of the book. From a modern perspective, I thought the men came off as hugely paternalistic (not Teddy so much, but John Brooks and Professor Bhaer for sure), and it was so much harder to care once I stopped rooting for those couples. For a book that's known for its strong independent female lead character, it really does a great job of portraying women as naive and in need of male guidance.