Saturday, March 17, 2018

I'm Not Alone!

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading
by Maureen Corrigan

Read on December 17, 2015.

I picked this up for a friend, and decided to read it before I passed it on. I'm really glad I did. The book is in three parts, and the last one spoke to me less than the first two, but overall this is still a very strong book. Corrigan talks a lot about female characters in literature. I was particularly fascinated by the observation that, traditionally, most male protagonists have adventures. They do something tangible, tackle an injustice, take out the bad guy. Women in literature, on the other hand, tend to hold fast through some insufferable situation, using their inner strength to survive until circumstances change around them. I loved how she framed this as the female adventure story. 

Probably the best thing I took away from this book was Corrigan's discussion about how reading many mainstream books with male protagonists as a young Catholic girl affected her throughout her life. I can relate very much to those effects, as someone who was raised in a family where women are definitely passive and often submissive, all the while also identifying with book characters who took charge and got things done. You can end up with a desire to do things, but an utter lack of confidence when it comes to doing them. In this respect, the book was almost like a free trip to a therapist.

Final Call: 

If you like reading about reading, this is a stand-up entry into the books about books category!

If you like this, try:
Book Lust, by Nancy Pearl

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