So you can read my books

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


{Image of Empress Theodora courtesy of Leonora Roy}
A Maryland woman has gotten a very unusual speeding ticket for driving a mere two miles under the speed limit on Interstate 95.

Police say the reason they ticketed her was that she was driving in the left lane reserved for speedier commuters.

the woman noted the area was experiencing heavy winds at the time and she was only driving under the speed limit as a safety precaution.

"The reason [the ticket] is silly is because it's sending the wrong message," said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"And that is, 'We will tolerate you driving at more than the speed limit, but it you drive below the speed limit, then you're penalized for that.'"

Then, there's ...
leaninFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg‘s highly anticipated book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, is already a success – and not just because it has sparked a national conversation about women in the workplace and the current state of feminism. It’s also now No. 1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list on its first day of sales.

The conversational book, whose proceeds will go to fund, a global organization focused on helping women achieve their goals, has already been met with a wide range of opinions before its launch. One argument raised against the book, which at its core is an attempt to offer an empowering message for women, has more to do with the messenger than what she’s saying –

that maybe someone who’s grown up privileged and Harvard-educated isn’t the best to speak for women’s real struggles.

Really?  That's the gripe?

Sandberg rallies women to stop holding themselves back at work. She encourages women to ”lean in,” so to speak, and challenge themselves more. She wants women to not fear speaking their minds or being more aggressive. She wants women to learn to negotiate better. And, as she explained on 60 Minutes this weekend, she wants a world where little girls aren’t told that they’re “bossy,” but that they have “leadership skills.”

Like she was told.

Sadly, all too often in today's culture, success is defined by one's fame in a spotlight. If a book is not #1 on its first week, it must not be good.

How many great books languish unread because media attention has not spotlighted it?  Novels, concepts, and people -- are they only important if they are noticed?

Many ignored children feel that way -- which leads often to bad behavior -- under the feeling that bad breath is better than no breath at all.

Ever since Plato banned fiction in his ideal Republic, controversy has stalked what we have read.

Still, the beautiful lies of novels, movies, and TV stories have surprisingly powerful effects —
and may even help make society tick.

Until recently, we’ve only been able to guess about the actual psychological effects of fiction on individuals and society. But new research in psychology and broad-based literary analysis is finally taking questions about morality out of the realm of speculation.

This research consistently shows that fiction does mold us. The more deeply we are cast under a story’s spell, the more potent its influence.

Fiction enhances our ability to understand other people; it promotes a deep morality that cuts across religious and political creeds. More peculiarly, fiction’s happy endings seem to warp our sense of reality.

They make us believe in a lie: that the world is more just than it actually is. But believing that lie has important effects for society — and it may even help explain why humans tell stories in the first place.

So what do you think?  Is our fiction important?  Why did you read the last book you read?  What unspoken messages are we sending with what we read -- what we write?

Don't forget:




  1. What it appears this book "Lean-In" is encouraging is the same old material from feminists of the past.

    Until that glass ceiling is removed by the 'powers that be', women can lean in all they like. Only a few will actually push that ceiling until it breaks.

    I think I'd be more likely to read a book by a women who struggled, and wasn't encouraged in a pampered life. A book by an 'expert' is sometimes suspect.

    I'm reading one of your books and Fitzgerals 'This Side of Paradise' right now because I like to see the world from both sides now, past and future/other(paranormal).

    Hope you check out my Wormhole adventure if you can at my blog and others' today!

  2. Excuse my typos, it's early and I've only had one coffee.

  3. That's why I couldn't write a book about overcoming serious hardships - I haven't had any.
    Fiction can mold us. I read a lot of fantasy when I was younger where the message was good wins over evil. That was probably a good one to absorb.