Monday, June 11, 2012

Brit Lit

Today is the first day of a mini-break that I have from teaching. It's a whole week off from one of my colleges -- except for preparing for my next round of classes that start next week.
And, I'm still teaching at the other college.
So, it's not time off, but it's as close as I'm likely to get until Christmas.
I'm taking advantage by diving into some escapist reading. I don't think anyone does escapist reading as well as the Brits.
Sometimes I think I should try my luck in the British market because I share a sense of humor with these authors. My main characters are plucky, often humorous, and bumbling through life while handling deep subjects.
My favorite Brit lit author is Marian Keyes. I love her writing, her characters, her plots. Unfortunately, it has been awhile since I've seen any new books for her. This was the last one I saw released.
Another favorite Brit lit author  is Jill Mansell, although she's a little closer to chick lit with her unmarried characters often figuring out relationships.  I love the settings and her characters are always stumbling into trouble. She's also a prolific writing, so she had a new book come out this spring and another one is scheduled for fall. The one from this spring was a fun read, juggling lots of plots and subplots. Nadia Knows Best is the title, and, in my opinion, the weakest thing about the book was the title.
Just today I finished a book by another Brit lit author, Carole Matthews. I've read other books by her and enjoyed them, like The Chocolate Lover's Club. The book I finished today was With or Without You and it featured "trekking" in Nepal. It kind of made me want to try it, even if I wouldn't have an affair with the trek guide. I enjoyed the book overall, but I felt like it was a little preachy about abortion. Maybe we Americans are more sensitive to the topic since women's reproductive rights are always on the chopping block here in the States. In the book, one character can't get pregnant because of an abortion she had in her early 20s. Since the character is only 34, that meant she had to have had the abortion during the 90s, when medical practices were well established. As long as she had a legal abortion, the odds of it messing up her future reproductive abilities were small, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Another character in the book had an abortion (she was the bad girl) and she told the father she had DNA testing and it was his baby, and that the baby was a girl. I find it hard to believe they'd do DNA testing on a fetus to see who the father was. I think it was just added as an antiabortion message.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not pro-abortion. I dont know anyone who is. I am thankful I never had to make a choice like that, and I work hard to make sure those I love don't put themselves in that position either. Good birth control use can help prevent the abortion dilemma. I just don't want to be preached to about it in a novel.
But the abortion sections were fairly small and didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the book and the characters. I'll have to pay attention to Matthews' books in the future to see if they have preachy issues or not.

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