Saturday, September 15, 2012

Literary Embarrassment

So last weekend was the meeting of my lovely Ladies' Literary League (always a pleasure).  As we partook of delightful potluck goodies (including spicy chili, sparkling cider, and homemade ice cream) we discussed Things Literary as Literary Leagues are wont to do.

I asked the question: "So, what has everyone been reading these days?"

Literary Lady #1: "I've been reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda in both English and Spanish."

Literary Lady #2: "I've been reading the wonderful epic, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell."

Literary Lady #3: "I've been reading Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation."

Literary Ladies All: "What have you been reading, Anne Elisabeth?"

AE: "I've been reading a book called Shades of Gray--"

*Corporate Gasp*

*Hands Pound the Table*

Literary Ladies: "You WHAT?!?!?!"

AE (blushing): "Um . . . not to be confused with a work of similar title, 50 Shades of Gray. Just Shades of Gray. It's, um, by Jasper Fforde. It's a dystopian . . ."

Ah! The agonies of literary embarrassment!

(Then we all had a good laugh, discussed Jasper Fforde, and ate more homemade ice cream!)

17 comments:

Kessie said...

LOL!! Now that's hilarious.

Molly said...

Does no one like 50 Shades of Gray? What is it about?
But their reactions were still funny! :)

Lacee Hogg said...

Two days ago my husband and I were at our town's elementary school book fair and Shades of Gray was sitting on the shelf. Our minds immediately moved to 50 Shades of Gray and we almost freaked out.
What an unfortunate title choice for Jasper Fforde, although maybe it draws more attention to his book that way. :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Molly: 50 Shades of Gray is an *adult* novel that is popular right now. NOT one I would read or recommend (and not one that would be popular among my Literary League Ladies!) :)

thebilling said...

Ha! I'm so glad that conversation made it to your blog. I'm also glad you clarified the title; we were about to fire you as a Model League Member. But thanks to Jasper Fforde, we didn't have to. :-D

Maria said...

I've gotten similar looks when I mentioned the book "Between Shades of Gray". People looked at me like I was crazy and I had to explain that "Between Shades of Gray" was very different from the popular "50 Shades of Gray", which I would probably never even pick up off the floor if it fell.
On the plus side, "Between Shades of Gray" really is a wonderful book. It really is kind of funny, and frustrating, when books have similar titles :)

Rhoswen Faerie Wrose said...

Classic! Just classic! LOL! :-D

Molly said...

Wow! I know now about 50 Shades of Gray! I don't know what it's about, but what I don't understand is why anyone would write that type of stuff! :/

Taisia Tinuviel said...

Lol

Galadriel said...

You read Jasper Fforde? And I LOVE that book. It's a very imaginative approach to world building that few people have taken before--have you read any of his Thursday Next books? That world is a bookworm's dream!

Clara Darling said...

LOL!!! That's so funny!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Galadriel: You know, started reading The Eyre Affair about six, maybe seven years ago, and didn't "get" it. I think I would like it a lot more now, because I am LOVING Shades of Gray! It is so funny and so clever, and this man is a master at creating questions in my mind and making me wait fr answers! So I think I'll pick up Thursday Next again after this one . . . :)

Molly said...

Anne, this is a little random, but how do YOU say Athaelbald? I thought of two different ways to say it, then my sister said it differently, so I decided to ask the person who knows best. :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

That's a good question, Molly! I've always pronounced it with a short "a" as in Apple. But in all likelihood, it should be pronounced with a long "a" as in Day. How did YOU girls pronounce it? (I'm curious now!)

Molly said...

Well, I've always pronounced it (long a at the beginning) a-the-all-bald
Athaelbald....

Rachel6 said...

Another friend mentioned 50 Shades of Grey as a never-this-side-of-grace book, so I confess I blinked when I read your post! And then I read the rest of it and laughed hysterically. Poor Anne! At least you're reading something quite innocent! (And now you have me curious about Jasper Fforde.)

Jumping in on your discussion with Molly, I said Aethelbald with a short "a". But given the way the English language typically uses "ae" combos, silencing the "a", wouldn't it be more "ethel-bald"?

Anonymous said...

Anne Elisabeth, could you just make a list on this blog of how to pronounce everything? My sister and I almoe\st get into fight about Hylume (did I spell that right?), Arpiar, Vahe, and everything.

Maria,
is 'Between Shades of Gray' the Nazi prison camp book?