Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Books read the past two weeks

78) A political book. And that's all I'm going to say, since I try to keep my politics out of my author world, though they've been known to creep out on Twitter from time to time.

79) Love Thy Rival: What Sports' Greatest Rivalries Teach Us About Loving Our Enemies, by Chad Gibbs. As in God and Football, Gibbs writes a humorous travelogue of sports fandom with a light touch of Christian inspiration. At the end of the book he talks about rivalry at its best--the Army-Navy football rivalry between two schools dedicated to the common cause of sacrificial service to their country--and at its worse--the Alabama fan who poisoned Auburn's Toomer Oaks. The latter incident still makes me shake with rage, even though I'm not truly part of the Auburn Family myself. (My oldest brother is an alum, so I guess I'm family of the family?) What kind of evil person murders TREES, beautiful, hundred-year-old liveoak TREES, over football?

As you see, I'm having trouble loving that particular enemy. And when you suggest I ought to love my political or ideological enemies, it gets even harder. Heck, it even raised my hackles a bit that Gibbs closed the book with a challenge for rival fans to compete by giving to a nonprofit I'd personally never donate to for political reasons. (You will note I didn't name the nonprofit here. I'm biting my tongue hard, because if I named names, I wouldn't be able to resist explaining WHY I'm against them, complete with links and sputtering outrage. I really don't want to go there in my writer space.)

80) 45 Master Characters, by Victoria Schmidt. A writer's guide to archetypes and the hero's journey. I like that she described a masculine and feminine version of the journey--and then stated that sometimes female characters follow the masculine journey pattern and vice versa. I tend to get frustrated with gender essentialist approaches to such things.

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