Books for Beloved Or No Surprises Here

So, I spent the morning at my grandfather’s funeral, and am now blogging out of an airport in Iowa, waiting to fly back to Dallas.  I don’t cite this autobiographical information as a call for sympathy, but rather as justification for my flagrant cheating for this week’s question.  Because I can’t think of any book I’d have to insist Beloved read as soon as the two of us are one.  But there may well be some books he ought to know in order to merit consideration for a date.  (Actually, even this may not be strictly true, but considering Real Life Things at the moment, I wish to be entirely frivolous right now.)

About a year ago when I was taking the GRE for grad school applications, I worked on building up my GRE vocabulary.  I wrote a bunch of flashcards, and made up my own sentences using the vocab words, the more ridiculous, the better (helps you remember, don’t you know).

ultimatum n. a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations (Oxford American Dictionary)

“She issued an ultimatum: ‘Read Sandman or I can’t date you.'”

Sandman was one of those mind-changing books that I discovered in college; it shaped both my imagination and my view of why literature is important (and by extension, why I should go to grad school).  It influenced my choice of quotation for the alumni walk brick that my parents bought me for graduation.  And at the time, any guy who wanted to have a hope of understanding the way I thought really needed to read it.  Telling me you’ve read Sandman is still a sure way to impress me (okay, extend that to pretty much any Gaiman).   So there you have it.  Having read Sandman probably won’t be a deal-breaker for a first date, but it totally earns the guy points.  And if he wants to get beyond a first date, well…

14 thoughts on “Books for Beloved Or No Surprises Here

    • I know there are many things I would disagree on with Mr. Gaiman, but that does not change the fact that he has written some brilliant, beautiful stories that have changed my life. You’re right, he can get things very wrong sometimes, but I read him for the times when he gets other things very right.

      • I understand the principle, sure. But I don’t think it can be endlessly applied. At some point the evil, when it is great enough, taints the rest. The moreso when it is not repented. It seems to me that we disagree about the degree of the offence; perhaps we also disagree about how far the principle of “accept the good, ignore (discount, overlook… choose your own word) the bad” can be applied.

        Regardless, our disagreements won’t be resolved in a comment box discussion. I’ll cease to importune you with my opinions.

      • Thanks. I do respect your opinion, and your restraint. I think we both agree that arguing on the internet gets everybody nowhere fast. Carry on the good work, my friend.

  1. Pingback: Conclusion « Egotist's Club

  2. Aye, you’ve warned me about some of the mature content in Sandman, and it does give me pause, as I increasingly question whether accepting great shows of immorality are really worth it from God’s point of view. As brilliant (and even transformative, in some ways) as Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana was to me, I couldn’t recommend it because of the graphic sex scenes. I’ll still be giving Sandman and other Gaiman works a try, though. They’re too highly recommended by you and others for me to ignore, even as I loathed “The Problem of Susan” and totally understand how that story alone could cause someone to hate Gaiman. And I really like all the casual nonfiction of his I’ve read; the blog posts, the book introductions, the mini-essays. He gives every indication of being an author I’d love, I just need him to prove to me in his fiction that he actually is!

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