23 March 2010

There are several reasons to do this. One is curiosity. Another is just tasting what's in the water in the culture you're living in. If you fear it will be bad, consider the fact that if the book is actually bad, you can say the book is bad and actually know what you're talking about, instead of relying on the many other people who say the book is bad. If you're going to crack on it, you might as well have something informed to say. Another is that if the book is 90 percent bad and 10 percent good, you will be surprised by the 10 percent.

And, of course, some of you will like the book. At least, you may come to understand what it is that appeals to people about it, or what manipulative powers it has, or what you think is destructive about it, or whatever greater understanding you might gain. I'm guessing it will make for an interesting, and/or amusing, and/or surprising discussion.
I bet you can guess what book NPR's (new to me) pop culture blog Monkey See picked for its first group read! They actually do a decent job making the case for why you would read a book you're pretty sure will be bad, although in this case at least I'm not sold.


Wade Garrett said...

I love the fact that NPR is starting a book club, but I'm less than enthused that it is Twilight. I don't crack on the book so much as I crack on the crazily obsessive Twilight culture, and I do not need to read the book in order to do that.

I would like the record to reflect that I think that NPR is the bees knees and love almost everything it decides to do.

Ellen said...

It IS the bees' knees. And obviously this is just a very small part of the NPR hive, not the Official Selection of all.

I never noticed but apparently they run indie-bookstore bestseller lists now, which is pretty neat.

Nance said...

I just had my 62nd birthday. There are not enough days left in my likely lifespan to read all the books that are acclaimed as worthwhile literature. I love NPR, but I'm taking a pass on the challenge. Let's don't and say we did.