Here’s a story about Lauren in college:
I went to a large land grant university where being an English major was not the desired department of cool kids. There were the Greek life students in the business school, the nerds in Computer Science & Engineering, and the farmer boys in Agriculture Science.
Small aside – my husband, brother, and sister in law are in each of those three categories. I’ll let you guess which.
Back to the main story – I fell outside the loop in the English & humanities. This means we had the smallest and oldest buildings, but the coolest professors. We had to act at least a little bit pretentious, and we thought we were being really cool when we held late night poetry readings on campus and brought jello shots to be alternative. So. Alternative.
After four (and a half) years of this awesomeness, I graduated and started working in a completely non-English career. My pretentiousness faded away a bit, and I haven’t been to a poetry reading or had a single jello shot in several years.
Minus being pretentious and taking shots over poetry, another important part of being an English major is reading books. I did a whole lot of that in college, but when I graduated I pretty much stopped. No more reading, and I even didn’t miss it that much… which is sad. Part of the reason I didn’t miss reading was that all I read was classic literature and scholarly crap. Sure, there’s plenty of classic literature that I love but something is lost when you have to plow through book after book and then analyze it and regurgitate it on command.
That all changed when Tim got me a Kindle for Valentine’s last year. Suddenly I not only had a cool tech gadget, but an entire book store at my fingertips anytime I wanted. And what did I choose to read with my Kindle?
Books about puppies and ponies – lots of them.
Before sharing these little gems from my Kindle library, I would like to say that I have read some decent fiction in 2011. I read the Hunger Games Trilogy in four days. I read some classic fiction including The Great Swiss Family Robinson (more on that later), and I read Swamplandia as well.
Mostly though, it was trashy books about ponies.
The A Circuit
It’s the trashy intro to a trashy book series about rich girls, dating rich guys, drinking expensive drinks and having sex… but it’s set in a barn! So there are ponies! Ponies make everything youthful and innocent.
I think this is a sappy story about a woman starting to ride horses and learning to love again… blah blah blah. There were no good show scenes and she kept making a lot of bozo decisions, so I was annoyed most of the time I read this. Again, there were ponies… so I kept on reading.
A Good Horse
Jane Smiley is actually an author that I like a lot, and she’s written some impressive books about horses. This is not one of them. I got 50 pages into this book (and it took about 30 minutes to read 50 pages, so that should have told me something) before I realized it was written for 8 year-olds. But, there were ponies.
I won’t bore you with the list of the 15+ more horse tragedies that I read, but instead end on what is actually a really good book about horses!
Riders is a book that non-horse people might actually enjoy. It’s long. It’s written for adults instead of tweens. There are a lot of (fairly) complex characters, and a lot of horses. There’s the standard “Rich horse guy has it all” vs “Poor rider trains himself to be tough” story that is pretty classic for equine fiction, but I enjoyed this book a lot. I need to read more Jilly Cooper horse novels and less tween pony obsessed faux dramas.
Maybe I’ll return to classic literature and snobby fiction in 2012, but most likely I’m just going to read more books about ponies.