Books, Mean Cats, & American Dirt

01 Feb Books, Mean Cats, & American Dirt

• Thank you #Randomhouse #partner for the Elizabeth Berg books and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood •

Similar to books & coffee, books & cats are a thing.

Most people, except my dear friend Julie, love the latter. Although she does like my cat way more than my ginormous dog, who seems to be obsessed with her any time she comes over 🐾

Books & cats go hand in hand. People who enjoy reading typically appreciate and revel in bouts of calming atmospheres.

Cats are the same way.

If you are ever in the midst of some great reading and you are abruptly interrupted, especially in public (getting interrupted by your kids kind of doesn’t count because it happens too much), I know I look up at whomever is causing the disturbance and my face must scream, “What is wrong with you, can you NOT see I am otherwise busy?”

Cats give the same exact look when they are disturbed, except theirs is way more mean, basically a death stare. My cat Brontë (pictured above) is a snooty B and her stares can almost cut you. Quite often they are followed by a actual bite as well. My husband thinks there is something wrong with her. But I know better. While she can be mean, she, like readers, does not not want to be bothered. One could say her social skills are lacking, but perhaps those who interrupt also have deficiency in this area?

Just a thought.

When I took this picture I had a blue theme in mind, but I wanted to select books that were also on my short-list. So—every book in this photo I’d like to read this year.

The two Atwoods go together, as do the three Elizabeth Berg books. A Discovery of Witches is part of a trilogy, which sounds so good I ended buying the trilogy, yes, the whole trilogy on Amazon (for my Kindle) for $2.99. You can’t beat that, unless your grandma or someone gave them to you as a gift (but they probably paid more than $2.99). The copy pictured belongs to my sweet friend Jennifer, who introduced me to it. The other two books are stand-alones.

The other book that is still on my short-list (not pictured) is the The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I’ve been saying that for years, but this is the year I. Am. Going. To. Read. It.

Next up:

I’m a fan of #bookofthemonth .

Something I love is that you can skip a month if you aren’t in to the selections, and you aren’t charged for that month. I do skip occasionally, but for the last three months, including February I have selected books.

I’m going to put my February choice out there because it’s rather controversial right now in this politically correct bullshit climate we live in.

(Published by Flatiron, January 2020)

I first heard about this book a few months back and thought it sounded interesting. In a time where every other book published is about a refugee or immigrant, this one stood out to me. Don’t crucify me (or do, I could care less) for saying that. Whether it’s refugees, vampires, or pseudo Christian Greys, many people jump on whatever money-making bandwagon is riding through town at any given moment and write copycat books. Some are actually good, many stink—either way, it’s called business.

Overdrive didn’t have American Dirt at the time, so I “recommended” it and figured they’d get it and I’d read it at some point.

Next thing you know it’s all over the news, Oprah is getting bashed for selecting it as her bookclub book. Apparently the social media outlets are so upset (who cares). The Twitter world is furiously twittering their anger toward the author for writing this book about Mexican immigrants.

It has been said that Jeanine Cummins is not enough of the “correct” heritage to have written such a book, that there are inaccuracies which paint the Mexican immigrant community (more specifically the child separation / border crisis) in a bad light, that the author said her husband was once an undocumented immigrant (which is true, except he was from Ireland, if he had been from Mexico it would have been fine). Cummins’ book tour has since been cancelled due to safety concerns.

Last I checked, an immigrant is an immigrant. Just because one group is being more publicized does not mean another group is of less immigrant status. Nor does it make someone who says their spouse was an undocumented immigrant less than truthful simply because the said immigrant is from one country versus another. Saying one group is less of an immigrant is called discrimination.

Flatiron was also heavily attacked for publishing American Dirt. It was said they simply wanted to produce a bestseller that would make a lot of money.

Uh, hello, that’s what publishing companies actually try and do, Flatiron never claimed to be a non-profit. At BookExpo (a large book convention),pre-publication hype was said to be “akin to political campaigning,” according to a Vanity Fair article.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/01/publishing-industry-american-dirt-controversy

That’s called marketing.

American Dirt is a work of fiction in case you were confused or concerned. Sure, it may have ties to current issues, sure, the author may have added her own truth and flourishes here and there. So what? It’s her book, that’s her absolute right.

You have the right to NOT read it or buy it.

I have the right to do just the opposite. Either choice does not infringe upon the other.

Back to #Bookofthemonth , when I selected American Dirt as my book, this is what dropped down:

A note of caution.

At first I was thinking, are you kidding me? Then I woke up and realized it was 2020. Unfortunately we live in a world where everyone gets their feelings hurt/pissed off/offended every five seconds and realized BOTM was trying to protect themselves again the unwarranted rants of internet trolls, so I read on.

While part of this caution has been omitted for the sake of brevity in this blog post, I wanted to include the closing of their statement.

Well done and well said, Book of the Month. You have my thanks for letting ME decide what I want to read. Thank you for keeping American Dirt as a selection instead of cowering to idiotic politically correct bullshit.

And one more thing.

This is aimed to ALL of the ass hats who have attacked this book, the author, and the publisher:

Have you not learned what happens when you avidly tell people NOT to read something?

Apparently you haven’t, so I won’t spoil the mystery 📚

“There’s a blessing in the moments after terror and before confirmation.” —Jeanine Cummins, American Dirt

“Something will be offensive to someone in every book, so you’ve got to fight it.” —Judy Blume

“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” —Voltaire

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” —Salman Rushdie

Last, but not least:

If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, it’s that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is “right” and what is “best” should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently. … As a nation, we’ve been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn’t approve of them.” —Stephen King

4 Comments
  • Julie Wyatt
    Posted at 19:52h, 01 February Reply

    Can I get an AMEN!?!

  • happiestwhenreading
    Posted at 15:23h, 02 February Reply

    Yes! Great post!

  • Carol
    Posted at 22:57h, 02 February Reply

    I am reading it too because I’ve been told not to….bullied and intimidated. I appreciate the concerns raised but don’t make my reading decisions for me! I appreciate your post! 🙌

    • themostconstant
      Posted at 23:03h, 02 February Reply

      Thanks & I totally agree with you.

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