Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Chat: Strangest Book You've Read


Today I'm linking up with Sweet Green Tangerine and Stacey of Life on Cephei.  This was a little bit difficult for me.  Recently, HuffPost Books put up a Facebook post asking readers what book were they just too disturbed to finish.  Their responses intrigued me and became books that I added to my to-read list because well, I'm curious.  One title was Battle Royale which was basically the Japanese-style version of The Hunger Games and came out several years before Suzanne Collins' novel.  Taking place in Japan, students are forced on an online together to fight to the death.  Unlike Hunger Games, the students were tricked and it shows what people become like when they have no other option.  Another title was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  Taking place post-nuclear apocalypse, a father and son survive against other humans turning into cannibals.  V.C. Andrews, the author of the Dollanganger series, writes about children who are forced to live in their grandmother's attic.  It deals with some dark issues like killing children, isolation, and incest, but the Flowers in the Attic is crazy popular.  I've physically picked up a copy of it in the bookstore and had it in my hands so many times but have never purchased it.  I can handle dark, but can I handle that?  Other mentions included Stephen King novels like Pet Cemetery.  I remember seeing a brief part of the movie and becoming incredibly sad at the thought of a little boy losing his life.

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So the strangest book that I've read, off of the top of my head, would be 50 Shades of Grey.  One the writing is terrible but I was sucked into the character of Christian Grey.  I also was really interested in why it was so incredibly popular and had been dubbed by the media as "mommy porn."  Having worked in sexual health research and sexual health education, a lot of what the book covers has been existing for hundreds of years.  I know it disturbs a lot of people, the relationship that Grey has with Ana, however it was one of the first fictional books that I've seen that actively talked about sex and had the characters communicating their boundaries.  I was impressed. Would I have preteens read it? Haha no, but I do like seeing that type of communicating between consenting adults.  You don't really see that in the "sex scenes" of popular shows, advertisements, or even books.

I think in general, romance novels are a little strange.  They are my occasional guilty pleasure, if I need a "potato chip book."  The plots are incredibly outlandish and of course they take place on a cruise ship or in a villa by the sea.  If only, if only ;)

Thanks for reading! What is the strangest book that you've read?

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15 comments :

  1. I actually enjoyed 50 shades of Grey, not for the all of the sex talk but for the relationship between Christian and Ana. I think people get too judgmental over all of the "adultness" there is in the book and look past the relationship. It's probably the weirdest books I've ever read also.

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    1. My old roommate, who recently read it, compared it to Beauty & the Beast. That I couldn't really see since that old tale involves being kept against one's will but I suppose it's all determined on interpretation...right? I also agree that people are far too judgmental about the series. It's a romance novel! They're always outlandish and make people blush, that's their sole purpose in the book industry. Thanks for the leaving a comment, Becca :)

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  2. I love the direction you went with this. I love Stephen King so much and could say almost all of his books I've read are strange in one way or another. 50 Shades of Grey is also a strange one. Strange mostly because it is so bad but I would be lying if I said I wasn't entertained by it.

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    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun with this :)
      I'm so glad to have a comment from a fan of Stephen King's works. I really want to dive into them and was able to snag a copy of Under the Dome at a thrift shop for $1 :)
      I also loved how you worded that last sentence, "but I would be lying if I said I wasn't entertained by it." touche by friend, touche :)

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  3. I have heard so many mixed things about the book, but it definitely sounds interesting.

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    1. For me, anything that gets people either talking about books openly in the media/talk shows/with friends or gets people discussing relationships is a good thing to me. Their needs to be more of that, preferably with the writing increasing in quality but hey, I'll take the progress.

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  4. I forgot all about The Road. I read that and it is strange, but mostly just very dark and disturbing.

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    1. That's the vibe that I got from everyone who has read it. It's dark but leaves a lasting impression on many of its readers. I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy soon.

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  5. I have seen the "Flowers in the Attic" movie. It's so bad it's good and I'm sure not at all as disturbing as the book probably is. I also have "50 Shades of Grey" on my list, however I've been turned off by the fact that the writing is comparable to the "Twilight" series. I couldn't get through the first "Twilight" book so I'm kind of doubtful that I'll be able to get through a badly written book about a twisted sexual relationship.

    The strangest book I've ever read is probably "Gut Symmetries." I picked it up because I read a quote from the book on Tumblr that I really liked. I got the general premise of the book, but there were so many twists and turns and certain things in the last chapter that I just didn't really get, I guess. It wasn't at all what I expected.

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    1. OMG it's a movie!? I didn't know that! I think reading it and watching the movie just might have to happen. I've never heard of Gut Symmetries but I'll look into it. Thanks for commenting Jessica :)

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  6. I was looking back at an old post & your comment was so spot on! When my niece was getting bullied at school... Everything ended up as it should, I guess. I'm sure there's still massive tension when they run into one another -- I just hate that ANY girls have to go through this!! We all remember being bullied at one point or another; but these days.. It's much easier to be more widespread thanks to all forms of social media. #holyrunonsentence haha.. Makes me worried for my daughter's future in school!!

    Totally unrelated to this post but...

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    1. No worries! I'm glad to hear that all is well. Girls, as they get older, can be sweet and kind or they can have their mean streaks. I was not a fan of many of the girls in high school, even to the point today where when I receive a Facebook request from them, I question why they even did that in the first place. To be frank, I usually don't care what's going on in their life and more often than not, they stuck to our hometown doing whatever. Maybe people are nosey, I'm not entirely sure :P
      I'm glad that everything is back to a good place for your niece. It boils my blood to see that going on in schools.

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  7. Haven't read any of the 50 Shades books. Can't say I'm interested. Saw Flowers in the Attic a bunch of times as a kid. Why did I see it so many times? It must have been available (VCRs and cable were brand new when I was in middle school). I think Stephen King is strange but you expect that so somehow it doesn't come across as that odd...to me at least.

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    1. I haven't read any of Stephen King's work so I don't know yet if I could consider it strange, although I know some people do consider it dark. We'll see :)
      I just found out that Flowers in the Attic is also a movie and now I feel compelled to read the book, then watch the movie. Hopefully it's a good experience! Thanks for commenting :)

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  8. I agree with you, I hated 50 Shade of Grey. It wasn't the sex part of it, it was the writing...HORRIBLE! And I don't think I could read Pet Cemetery either. Creepy.

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.com

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