Monday, January 13, 2014

Musing Mondays - January 13th

Musing Mondays is changing it up, for this week!

Question: Are “best” and “favorite” the same thing? If someone asked you “What’s the best book you ever read?” would the answer be the same as for “What’s your favorite?” {source}

My Musing: I say that "best" and "favorite" can be, but aren't always, the same thing. I have lots of favorite books--I try to share them at the end of each year (you can see my 2013 list here). But there are very few I would say are the "best." The Stand by Stephen King comes to mind in the "best" category.

This is the original post I scheduled to run for today based upon past Musing Mondays:

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

You know what I really love to do--and I don't get a chance to do it very often--is dissect titles and really discuss them. I first started blogging because I wanted to get back into a regular reading schedule, but there was a reason behind that: I had some great books waiting to be read and there was a purpose to reading them.

I mentioned last week that the first post here was part one of five discussing The Ghost in the Little House by William Holtz. This book is a biography of Laura and Almanzo Wilder's only child who survived to adulthood, Rose Wilder Lane. The author's contention is that Lane should be listed as a co-author for Wilder's beloved Little House books. As a fan of the books, I wasn't sure how I would feel about The Ghost in the Little House, but I knew I didn't want to just read it and cross it off my "TBR list."

The book is close to 450 pages long, and I wanted to see if by the end of it, I felt the same way the author did about Lane's contributions to her mother's now classic books. I can't say that I did agree, but The Ghost in the Little House led me to read books by Lane to either support or discredit Holtz's theory--at least in my mind.

I discussed at length, Lane's Free Land and Let the Hurricane Roar. I didn't end up going further on with this search, but when I decided to start reading some Laura Ingalls Wilder titles I had on my bookshelf for a while, I ended up writing this multi-part discussion on Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Impact on American Culture by Anita Clair Fellman, which started with this post. I've read the first five chapters of the book, but needed to break away until now. I should be finished with this book soon.

Books that make me think are perfect to dive into and discuss at length. My hope is always that others will join in the discussion. Having read nonfiction exclusively for many years before I began blogging, I got into the habit of considering my thoughts and feelings on certain topics or bodies of work. That's probably why I enjoy reviewing books so much.

Have you ever read a book with a definitive purpose in mind? Do you enjoy discussing books at length?


Anonymous said...

I read a lot of different types of books--both fiction and nonfiction--and do often read a book or series of books for a specific purpose. For example, I read several books about homeschooling a few years ago because I wanted to see if I could still back up my opinions about it (I was pretty much categorically against it) after becoming more well-rounded in my knowledge about it(I now feel that it's the correct choice for a lot of families). I like nothing more than digging into a deep discussion about a particular book--especially with folks who have differing opinions than I do, and who are willing to accept that fact but still entertain my thoughts about it. Some of the best book discussions I've had are with people who have completely opposing opinions to my own!

Ambrosia said...

I also love digging into a book that really makes me think. Granted often after the big books like that I need to read something lighter but I enjoy a variety so it all works out.

Thank you for stopping by Fire & Ice

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the comments. Having a friendly debate about ideas is always fun. I agree, though, after a deep book, I need to read something lighter.