Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Which I Insult Scarlett O'Hara

Sarcastically Delicious, aka boyfriend, aka I-don't-read-fiction-because-you-don't-learn-anything-from-it, is finally reading fiction. He has decided to take on Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. If you haven't seen this book, let me tell you, it is the size of a phone book. He's really enjoying it because he likes politics and is in awe of Ms. Rand because she wrote this book in the 1940's, but much of what she has to say can apply to today's political culture.

Anyway, Sarcastically Delicious wants me to read it. And I'm like no, because my best friend Smelly once told me she tried to read Ayn Rand's work and she said it was somewhere along the line of depressing and boring. So then I tell Sarcastically Delicious that I will only read Atlas Shrugged if he will read a book of my choosing. Fearing that I would make him read Harry Potter, he scowled at this idea. Little does he know, I was going to suggest the Hunger Games, but, whatever.

In an effort to convince me to read Atlas Shrugged, Sarcastically Delicious texted me a link to a website that shows a list based on a study in 1991where respondents named a book that had made a difference in their lives.

1. The Bible- Makes sense.

2. Atlas Shrugged- Sarcastically Delicious hopes that the number two position will entice me to read the book. Not so much.

3. The Road Less Traveled- Never heard of it. Doesn't mean, it's not life changing. I just haven't heard of it.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird- I don't know if it was life changing for me. But it was definitely a good book and Sarcastically Delicious and I had a brief intellectual conversation about it.

5. The Lord of the Rings- Love the movies. Definitely life changing, in that my butt was permanently affixed to a chair for almost eight hours.

6. Gone With the Wind- Sarcastically Delicious, knowing that I've read the epic masterpiece, turns to me and asks, "How did this book change your life?" And I reply, perhaps a little to candidly, "How not to be a bitch."


  1. The writing in Atlas Shrugged is awful. I tried a shot at it when I found it on my mom's bookshelf as a teen. It's even worse if you don't go in for dystopian. Now that I'm older, somewhat wiser, and definitely more political I shudder every time I pass it in the book store. Like walking by a graveyard at night. Every time we hit a recession and conservative values come back in to vogue the book shoots up in popularity. It's basically her philosophy of moral selfishness. Government is oppressive. Profit motive is the only motive that keeps the world going. All of these ideas, conservatives love because conservatism at it's core is about individualism vs liberals being more about the group. The book preaches that any sort of self-sacrifice is evil. That may be an interesting and self-serving outlook to have in real life, but in fiction it makes for boring plot points. Romeo & Juliet would be a soooo fun to read with no idea of sacrifice *sarcasm drips to the floor* How can any protagonist prove they really want something if they aren't willing to give up everything in the world including life for it. Twilight - Bella: "Edward, I'm not really into the whole self-sacrifice-thing, so how about we just keep it casual?" Edward: "Sorry, Bella, but I'm not going to sacrifice my need for your blood just because you're cute. I'm eating your arm right now."
    If you believe you do owe something to society, No one is an island, Your friends and family all sacrifice for you and you for them, and that just generally you need self-sacrifice for good fiction then you may want to take a pass. The Fox News for American Idol trade didn't go so well, so I imagine that he wouldn't actually read your suggested book anyway.

  2. I haven't read any of the books listed but I do think the idea of a book that changed a life.

    For me, it was Salem's Lot!

    Mr. King's style and edge, derived from every day life (yes, even in his horror setting), things you could really relate to, set the tone for my future writing.

    Whether that changes anyone's life remains to be seen.