Questions for Wednesday

For the Brooks editorial . . .

  • Do you agree that books tend to be either men’s books or women’s books, and that men’s books are action-oriented and women’s books are about relationships? Can you think of exceptions to the rule?
  • Do you tend to read books by authors of your sex, and avoid those by authors of the opposite sex? Are “male’ and “female” even clearly defined categories?
  • Do you agree with David Brooks that schools tend to discourage the kind of reading that boys enjoy most? What evidence would you present for or against this claim?

For the Docx and Laura Miller dueling essays:

  • What do you think of Edward Docx’s food analogy? Is genre fiction like predictable and  fast food and literary fiction like a restaurant that takes food seriously and tries to create original menus? Do you think readers of Stieg Larsson could be coaxed to read better books, and would they be better off for it?
  • What is Miller’s chief argument in favor of “bad writing”?