Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Salon: A Misfit Toy Among Book Bloggers (and In Life)

I'm a Misfit Toy this week in the book blogging world, it seems.  You see, this will probably be one of the few Sunday Salon posts (or any posts this week) that don't mention Mockingjay.  For reasons that I don't quite understand myself, I'm not caught up in the excitement and hoopla surrounding it. 

I read (and liked) The Hunger Games just fine, but was content to stop there.  I don't have any other explanation to offer other than, like so many other things in my life, I am apparently a Misfit Toy. 

Case in point:  My 8 year old son Boo is currently borderline obsessed with all things Looney Tunes. He can't get enough of Bugs Bunny and all the other cast of characters who I can barely name. He watches them on YouTube and on DVD.  He's watching them on YouTube as I type this post, necessitating my move into another room as to not hear Bugs' annoying and migraine-inducing to me voice. He draws his own cartoon strips and his own stories starring Bugs.

It's turning me into a looney tune because ... well, because cartoons drive me batty. Even as a kid, I never understood them and had zero interest in watching them. Why? I have no idea and no theories to offer except ... I'm a Misfit Toy. Yet, I love hearing my son's laughter to the rafters and I love watching him get so much joy out of this.

All this is to say that I seem to be hard-wired to resist things (Twilight, Twinkies, Tweety Bird) that other people in my midst love.

As such, my reading lineup this week has been a bit different than most book bloggers in my world. I started, finished, and absolutely loved The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin. This is going to be among my favorite books of 2010.  To see why, check out my review here if you missed it and are interested. 

After The Queen of Palmyra, my reading stumbled a bit.  I started A Taste of Honey, a collection of interwoven stories by Jabari Asim.  Perhaps the heavy subject matter and themes were too similar as in The Queen of Palmyra, or maybe it was the writing or too many characters being introduced at one time. Regardless, this one didn't grab me. Same with Maxine Kumin's poetry collection Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010.  For whatever reason, I wasn't connecting with the poems.

I'm starting to get the sense that it works best for me if I follow up a strong work of fiction with a non-fiction read. It allows the fiction work to settle in my mind and by reading a nonfiction book, it provides for an easier transition (and avoidance of comparison, even subconsciously) with another novel or short story collection.

Currently, I'm in the middle of Seth Godin's Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?  As a reader of Godin's blog, Linchpin has been on my radar for awhile. (It is also the book referenced by Ron Hogan during his presentation at the Book Blogger Convention in May.)  In his newest book, Godin writes about the qualities and characteristics of linchpins - those people in every organization who are the go-to people, who are the ones who seem essential and indispensable, who don't know the meaning of the phrase "not my job."

"There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there's no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art." (from the book jacket)

Godin's view is that as managers, we have the ability (and some might say the responsibility) to develop linchpins among our employees. As employees, we have the ability to develop linchpin characteristics within ourselves.

To be a Misfit Toy in the workplace, if you dare.

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


readerbuzz said...

We all feel like misfit toys now and then. (And some of us feel like this most of the time!)

Don't feel alone. All the really cool toys are misfit toys.

booksploring said...

I guess that makes me a misfit toy as well! You won't find me mentioning Mockingjay...

Trisha said...

I may be a bigger misfit since I haven't even read Hunger Games yet.

Belle said...

I haven't read Hunger Games yet, either - it's in my tbr pile, and I mean to get to it. So I guess I'll join you as a misfit toy!

gautami tripathy said...

You are not the only one. I am not going to check out any of the Collins novels!

Here is my Sunday Salon post!

Dani in NC said...

I vaguely remember a few people on my various social networks mentioning "The Hunger Games" when it first came out, but I didn't know it was such a big deal until "Mockingjay" was about to be released. I haven't read any of the books, so I guess you'll have some company on the island :-).

BTW, I was also a kid who didn't like cartoons. I pushed myself to watch a few animated features when my kids were younger because I was trying to be a good parent. Now that they are in their teens, I don't bother to pretend any longer. I'd rather stick a pencil in my eye than watch another episode of "Adventure Time" and I have little patience for anime.