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Books and Recommendations ...

(50 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 17:24:32

Some years ago, I read The Corrections, when everyone else read it. I told DH it was great. He put it in his pile of "to read" books, where it was promptly forgotten, along with every other not-totally-fluffy book I ever recommended.

Last Friday, DH went out, very late, for the first time in ages. Stayed up drinking and chatting with random folk, and they started talking about literature.

Turned out all of them had read and loved The Corrections, and berated DH for not having read it.

So DH has finally started reading it. He keeps laughing out loud and telling me how good it is. Why didn't he believe me when I said it the first time?

And I keep saying I didn't expect him to read it anyway, as he mostly reads non-fiction, SF, and gun/bomb/airport crap. Which he sees as a judgemental statement (it is, but only the last bit really).

Is it really unreasonable of me to maybe think DH might sometime read some book I recommended to him? Or that he might take my recommendations slightly more seriously than groups of random blokes at a night out?

(It probably doesn't help that he's said things like "it's not literature, it's good", since starting it.)

I know, this is really trivial stuff, but if you had to listen to him laughing at the funny bits all the damn time, you'd want to throttle him, too.

mrsflowerpot Wed 31-Jan-07 17:36:35

Ah now, this would annoy me too. Except that I did the same thing to DH with Lord of the Rings - five years he tried to get me to read it and I resisted until some other friends told me I must, at which point I meekly did. So maybe, with reasonable hat on, it just didn't sound like his cup of tea until people who normally like the same stuff as him recommended it...

The 'not literature, it's good' thing would drive me demented, though - in fact it sounds very much like something dh would say about anything I had recommended.

You have permission to throttle on that alone, I think.

Muminfife Wed 31-Jan-07 17:39:24

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Bink Wed 31-Jan-07 17:49:03

(There is a book that gets bandied round on here with wild recommendations, and everyone gets it and fulsomely bows down to the recommender ... except that I posted recommending it months before she did)

There, that's petty isn't it? Hope you feel better now!!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 18:01:15

These aren't people he knows, really. I mean, they're not mates from years, they're people he vaguely works with, a bit. It's all far too exasperating.

DimpledThighs Wed 31-Jan-07 18:37:51


TBH I think I do this to my DP - he has recommeneded stuff to me and the back of my head I think 'yeahyeah whatever' and then one of my friends tells me and I read it and it is great. I suppose the difference is that I congratulate DP on his recommendation as well, but generally it is the same thing.

It happened the other way round with music too, I was championing the Kings of Leon for ages and DP was like 'oh right' and then he heard them and came to me and said 'that band you like is actually really good.'

I think it is just a difference in the relationship you have with your friends and your partner, there are things my friends can tell me that my partner can't (e.g. chilrearing advice, career advice) and so i wouldn't see it as a dismissal of your taste, more that you are next to him and his partner and the relationship deals with the deep stuff and everyone else is for the final details?

I dunno - bit rambley - I know what I mean, do you?

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 18:43:10

Hmmm, but DH can give me career advice and childrearing advice. I mean, he does these sorts of things delicately, but mostly it's fine.

He does recommend things to me, but the last thing he recommended (really strongly) was a short story in a book I'd bought him, which turned out to be one long poo joke, really. I was . I do listen to his recommendations.

I'm probably just envious. Nobody I know irl ever seems to talk about books, or have good taste, if they do. One of the blokes he was out with had read and loved Infinite Jest!

DimpledThighs Wed 31-Jan-07 19:57:26

maybe he just has very different taste to you (explain the poo short story) and things you have recommended in the past haven't hit the mark - but I can see how it must be frustrating to have read a book, loved it, told him to read and then him only to do so on the recommendation of someone else.

Me and DP have such diverse tastes that we are surprised if we end up reading and liking the same thing. He is all Martin Amis and I am a bit more, um, Zadie Smith. We sometimes meet up in the middle, but that is rare. Most of the time we like different stuff and our tastes are very subjective.

I remember way back when staying up all night reading Camus so I could impress him the next day! Gone are those times!

(btw - I think I did dp a bit of a diservice, I don't talk about childcare, career etc. but think that is more to do with diff cultures than anything else. Don't want to do the man down.)

DimpledThighs Wed 31-Jan-07 19:58:27

Right, just read that back and I sound like a completely poncey bitch. Would like to add that I watch far too much telly and am wearing tracksuit bottoms.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 19:59:49

Ah, see, we often end up enjoying the same comic novels, and the same (reasonably light) non fiction. It's just on fiction that we split. I like modern literature, not too heavy, not too light. DH just doesn't touch literature, generally. Oh, he likes that man with the stupid titles, Christopher Brookmyre. But that's more boys with guns and explosions, really.

Elasticwoman Wed 31-Jan-07 20:01:37

If that's worst thing you can think of about your dh/p then your relationship must be pretty near perfect.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 20:02:09

There's nothing wrong with reading Camus. I read The Stranger once, not sure why. Think I read it in English, though, probably?

To be fair, I used to read a lot of SF and don't seem to any more. I probably would enjoy the stuff DH likes, or some of it ... but lots of it is gory, and I went off gory stuff while pregnant.

The poo story ... basically it was a short set in the far future, when people photosynthesized. Nice idea. A couple decided to have a thanksgiving feast, with actual food, as a weird historical thing. Funny bits where they go on about how hard cooking is, etc etc etc. Then the punchline is them realising why people stopped, when they have to poo. (It's handled more delicately than that, obviously.)

I find SF humour to be a difficult thing. There's a lovely piece out there about "singing meat" that's great, but generally, it's all a bit filk.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 20:03:08

Our relationship is pretty good. I realise this isn't a significant complaint! (Oh, wait, there's the whole zoot suit thing, although that's pretty trivial too ... has some MNers pissing themselves laughing though.)

Here is singing meat.

Pruni Wed 31-Jan-07 20:03:50

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Pruni Wed 31-Jan-07 20:04:55

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EllieHsMum Wed 31-Jan-07 20:05:35

My dh many years ago before we were married, recommended 'Weave World' by Clive Barker. It was the first year in our relationship, I went away on holiday with a mate to Greece. Took the bloody book with me & I thought it was the biggest pile of poo. We still joke about it now.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 20:07:30

Ah, see, for me "someone who reads" is a dealbreaker. I couldn't live with someone who didn't read. Never never never. I remember being interested in someone, he was very cute, and he made some off the cuff remark about how he never read trashy novels. I was impressed, and asked what he read. Turned out he read only Popular Mechanic. Oddly enough, nothing happened there.

The only other bloke I ever lived with was a bookseller.

(One of my exes ended up living with a non-reader for a while. He was pretty miserable about it - she was a student when they got together, so he saw her reading for courses. Turned out she only read for courses.)

Oh, I've realised we also share graphic novels a reasonable amount, although he likes ones that are more guns/explosions/crime and I like alternative/women's ones. But there are quite a few that we both like.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 20:08:46

Carl Hiaasen is ok, for what he does. I can recommend lots of similarish folk to you, if you like.

The bookseller I lived with, I fell for him while he was ranting about how much he loved some Ursula K LeGuin novel. I tried to read it later. Couldn't stand it.

Pruni Wed 31-Jan-07 20:55:15

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NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 20:56:49

Being read to makes me incandescently angry. Well, it's fine when DS1 does it, obviously.


Ok, Sparkle Hayter is pretty similar. So is Elmore Leonard, but less chatty with it (and not so environmental). Janet Evanovich is also reasonably similar.

Pruni Wed 31-Jan-07 20:59:42

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pointydog Wed 31-Jan-07 21:02:25

if your dh is not a booky person he's not going to read a book on your recommendation. You are a bookish bore.

if your dh had a marvellous night on the piss but felt a little left out of the correcxtions chat, then he will read the book.


NotQuiteCockney Wed 31-Jan-07 21:06:38

Huh? DH is totally a booky person! And I'm not a booky bore - I don't talk books to people who don't like books.

Oh, Pruni, do try Sparkle Hayter. She is much better than Evanovich, but similar. I may have a double-copy of something, and I owe you a package, so if I can find it ...

Pruni Wed 31-Jan-07 21:07:13

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pointydog Wed 31-Jan-07 21:11:37

oh, he's booky?

He is irrationally objecting to any book recommended by you, then.

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