Sunday Salon, October 12: The Late Edition

If a “Sunday Salon” post goes up at a time when most people won’t see it until Monday, it’s officially “late,” I say.

"The Sunday Salon" at The 3 Rs Blog
What I’m reading

  • in print / on screen

I’m still reading On Immunity—it’s not a long book, but it’s not the kind you devour, so it feels right to go slowly with it. I’m double-teaming that with November review reading for Shelf Awareness… and I just told my editor that I won’t be submitting any December reviews. That decision has me looking forward to a “read-what-I-want” stretch next month, including some participation in the second annual Nonfiction November and a potential YA-fiction binge.

  • on audio

It seems appropriate for Halloween month that I started listening to The Magicians last week, don’t you think? I bought the entire trilogy from Audible. At this point, I’m undecided about listening to the whole thing straight through or breaking it up, but I’m leaning toward the latter, since I doubt I can finish it all in October anyway.

What I’m watching

I loved the first episode of The Flash and am excited to see how it develops. It’ll be interesting to watch it alongside Arrow, since their roots are shared but their tones are so different. The Flash feels a little more like Smallville to me, and since that was my first favorite CW Superhero Soap Opera, I have no problem with that at all. Smallville’s brighter interpretation of Green Arrow was a huge reason I shied away from Arrow for much of its first season—but I’m glad I got over that, because the melodrama is now one of the things I love most about that show. Someone who’s more versed in comics than I am might have other thoughts on this, but I wonder if stories about superheroes who actually have superpowers might lend themselves to a lighter—or at least less muddy and morally ambiguous—tone than those that don’t.

What I’m writing

Between Evernote and my Day One journal, I’ve been making lots of bullet-point notes lately. I’m planning to expand and share some of those here on the blog during the next week or two.

What caught my eye this week

Following up on Trish’s post that I quoted last week, some responses to the questions raised by attempting to read diversely:

”Basically, there are a lot of books in the world. There are fewer books that I actually hear about. There are even fewer books that I remember, fewer books that I acquire and fewer books that I read. And since authors of color are underrepresented at every level of that chart, they are underrepresented in my reading life…Admitting my reading has a diversity problem isn’t necessarily a dig on me because it’s a result of some much bigger forces at work in the way books are marketed and discussed..The way I can help this systemic problem is to personally seek out more writing by authors of color. Then when I share the books that I love, they will be more diverse simply because I am paying better attention to those choices.”

“On Paying Attention to Reading Diversely” by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness

” So it appears the odds are stacked up against the person who wants to read diversely and understand other cultures, partly because publishers think the only stories that will sell are those that are based on pre-existing Western stereotypes about other places and people. So what we’re getting is a single story….The only solution I have found is to read as widely as possible. Don’t make assumptions based on just one data point. To use words that show up in reviews of Indian books all the time, weave your own colorful tapestry out of many different saris! Or cook a meal with a cupboard full of exotic spices! Read widely and see just how many different kinds of stories can be true about the same place at the same time.”

—“How to read diversely AND authentically”, by Aarti at Booklust

”While gender and race are two significant characteristics that can lead to wildly different life experiences on the part of authors (and readers), they are hardly the only ones that might make a writer different from his or her potential audience. So, yes, there are ways of reading diversely that aren’t very diverse at all.”

—Locale, education, religion, politics: some elements of “Diversifying Your Reading Beyond Gender or Race” from Nicole Perrin at Book Riot

Gratuitous Photo of the Week

Morning clouds The 3 Rs Blog
These are not the clouds from the top photo on this post.

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