So I'm reading a book now (shout out to Trish Ryan!) that won't hit shelves until 2008, so I can't really chat too much about it, but I'm having a really interesting experience with it. Here's why: it's a subject matter about which I have not that much interest or experience - namely, religion - so I was really hesitant (and expressed this to Trish) about whether or not it would appeal to my sensibilities. And here's what I've found so interesting: through her writing, which is strong and relatable and at times, so funny (seriously, some of her dating experiences have had me giggling with glee on the Precor at the gym), that I've found myself tugged into her world, despite the fact that I didn't think I would be.
I've heard similar comments about my own book: that because it's about breast cancer, people aren't initially interested. But once they're drawn into the story, they discover that a) it's not really about breast cancer, just as Trish's book isn't about religion, and that b) there's a lot to learn about experiences that aren't your own or even ones that you thought would interest you so much. Rather, TDLF is about one woman's journey of finding her way in the world, and in the book, cancer is just the catalyst for that. Just as in Trish's, religion is the catalyst for her path to self-discovery. (Trish, I hope you don't mind me taking liberties here!) :)
And this was a sort of eye-opening experience with me: I tend to pick up books that might in some way reflect something that I've already gone through, but I'm learning that this is a mighty small box that I've constructed for myself. It's the reason that I haven't read The Kite-Runner (shhh!). I thought, "Ugh, I won't relate to that," but I'm guessing that just because I don't really have a HUGE interest in Afghanistan in the 70s, that there are still things to be learned, just as I'm learning about religion and spirituality via Trish, and just as people might have learned about cancer via my book.
I dunno. I can't believe that it's taken me this long to figure this out. But I guess I look at books as entertainment, even if it's heavy entertainment, so I've never wanted to slog through something that didn't immediately appeal. But I'm learning that my gut instinct might be wrong.
So let me ask you: have books ever surprised you? Have you ever found yourself interested in a book that you thought would hold little interest? If so, which ones? Or am I alone in my discovery? (Please say no!)