So it has come to our attention that Haddi and I might have a slightly pretentious outlook on reading, as evidenced by our 2018 book selection (thanks George for calling a thing what it is…). Anyway, perhaps we do come across a bit on the stuffy intellectual side but I want to set the record straight…
For myself, my pretentiousness derives from my unwillingness to join in. I’ve never been a joiner, I hope to never be a joiner and truth be told if something is “all the rage” I will read/watch/engage it mostly (though not always) to tear it down and tell you why it’s not nearly as good as the world thinks. My refusal to go with the flow shows up HARD CORE in my reading. If you give me a book that “everybody is reading” it will sit on my shelf for ages (think Water for Elephants or The Secret). You tell me to pick up an author who is “everywhere right now” (think Jodi Picoult) I will refuse to read them out of pure spite. I do this most spectacularly with the New York Times Bestseller tables at B&N or those recommended on my Amazon feed. No. Just no…I’m not reading that! Why? Because you had the audacity to think you know what I might like!
As I’ve gotten older my reason/justification for this type of behavior has evolved and I have a killer argument that will make just about anyone stop engaging me in conversation at all. It goes something like this: “I refuse to cater to a publishing machine that continues to perpetuate a literary disservice speaking only to the lowest common denominator. It has blind spots that continue to leave out marginal and historically oppressed voices and I am not gonna to use my economic power to support the charade any longer!” (and yes this would be delivered with all the fiery, self righteous indignation I could muster) But, don’t be fooled, this is all “sort of” true and I do believe it, but when you get right down to it, I don’t read the latest and greatest out of pure stubbornness, a desire to never conform and thus my ability to claim that I always cut my own path. So where does this leave me?
I am left missing some great books because sometimes all that machinery gets it right and the pomp and circumstance around Ready Player One with it’s New York Times Bestselling status, Alex Award, Prometheus Award and immediate movie contract was spot on…for me.
It was actually Leonel who chose this book for our Audible account in 2017. He had heard about it on a couple of his “geeky” pod-casts and wanted to read it, so who was I to tell him no. He listened to it, enjoyed it and told me I’d like it too. He tried to explain it to me but it didn’t really connect and I just left it alone for a few good months. Then the trailers for the new movie Ready Player One came out and IT LOOKED AWESOME! I am a big science fiction fan so that was never the issue, but sometimes when a new reality is being created I just don’t have the energy to figure out all the ins and outs of the new world/universe. The trailer gave me the overview and major plot points I needed, allowing me quick and easy access to the story arch, so I downloaded the book that night and started it the next morning.
Now if you came of age in the 80’s and loved video games and movies you will LOVE this book for bringing you back to your childhood. I was still toddling around most of the 80’s so most of those references I didn’t get, and yet I enjoyed every moment. I laughed, I cried, I rooted for the underdog (my absolute favorite) and learned a lot along the way about virtual reality and the deep and meaningful relationships possible even in a physically disconnected world.
I am so looking forward to seeing the movie which comes out on March 29th! If you are a “read the book before the movie” kind of person, this is one I would totally recommend and if you do Audible it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton (another great nod to the 80’s) which you will most definitely enjoy.
Let us know what you think of the movie/book on The Book War Facebook page and happy reading!
My Goodreads Review of Ready Player One