A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

crooked-kind-of-perfect.jpgWhat’s on my nightstand? A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban.

It was love at first sight when I discovered this title and added it to my Recommended Reading list. I love that title. I love the thoughts and images it conjures. It’s an accurate reflection of my life, and I suspect that’s true for others as well. I enjoyed the title for quite a while before I read the book.

I’ve always had trouble relating to characters whose lives are riveting but horrible. That’s never been my reality. Zoe, on the other hand, I can relate to. She dreams big–of being a piano prodigy and playing at Carnegie Hall in an elegant gown and ruby-toed slippers–but reality falls short of her dreams–instead of getting her a piano, her well-meaning but misguided father gets her a Perfectone 60 organ. Instead of learning great classical music, she’s taught theme songs from old TV shows. Zoe’s reality is not bad, it’s just a crooked kind of perfect.

me-evolution-and-other-freaks-of-nature.jpgWhat’s on my mp3 player?Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, by Robin Brande.

Ahhh…science, religion, separation of church and state. I have very strong feelings on this issue; my mind is not open on this subject, except to absorb additional points to further strengthen my own position. Mostly, I’m curious to see what kids might be reading, learning, thinking about.

Of course, the book isn’t so much about the issue as how the characters respond to the issue. It is fiction. I’m in the middle of it, so don’t know how it plays out. I don’t know how the theory of evolution will affect the main character’s religious beliefs. But I like the characters, and I’m curious to find out.

Categories: Reading

5 replies »

  1. Your very strong statement regarding science, religion, and separation of church and state piqued my interest. I’m curious why one (make that you) would be unwilling to listen to other points of view, some that may even warrant attention.

  2. Hmm. Did I say I was unwilling to listen to other points of view? That’s not what I meant to say.

    Backing up, none of my statements felt strong when I wrote them; I was being rather flip.

    That said, I suspect it is the phrase “my mind is not open on this subject” that you interpret as meaning I’m unwilling to listen to other points of view. Maybe that’s implied in the phrase “closed mind,” but if that’s the case, I’m using it incorrectly.

    I know that it is PC to be “open minded,” but I think that concept is a bit naive and idealistic. The fact is, I am not open-minded in many cases. (I suspect “we”–universal we–are not, but I’ll speak only for myself.) Perhaps it would be better to say, “My mind’s made up.”

    For instance, I am close-minded on the issue of seat belts. I am pro-seat belts to the extent of nagging my mother-in-law and refusing to drive a vehicle with an unbuckled passenger. I am close-minded on the issue of smoking. I won’t do it, and I will complain if I’m forced to breathe someone else’s smoke. I am close-minded on the issue of dish soap. I use Dawn.

    Likewise, I have made up my mind on the issues of science, religion, and our constitutional right to the separation of church and state.

    I think it’s good to have contemplated these things and come to a conclusion. If one’s mind is open for too long, someone is bound to use it as a receptacle for garbage. That fact that we think and draw conclusions should not be a bad thing.

    I finished the book Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature yesterday (note how I’m respecting the non-use of the serial comma by the author/publisher). I enjoyed it very much and recommend it without reservation. The philosophy that shaped the story differs from my own; I disagree with it. So not only am I willing to listen to different points of view, but I can respect them and can enjoy them.

    Note: I do not enjoy all points of view that differ from my own. For instance, I do not enjoy pro-smoking points of view, and I do not enjoy pro-Orphan Works legislation points of view. And on and on.

    Yes, my mind is closed on some issues. Not hermetically sealed, but made up to the extent that it’s unlikely an argument will change it.

    I’ll admit something else while I’m at it. Though I claim a willingness to listen to points of view that differ from my own, I prefer not to hear the same ones over and over and over. If someone has presented an argument, and I’ve rejected it, I don’t need to hear it again and again from different people. Give me something new to chew on, in a time and way that’s palatable, and I will indulge.

    Now, before anyone gets excited or nervous that Shelly and I are being rude to one another, stop. Shelly is a good friend. Her comment was not hostile and neither is my response. Sorry if that disappoints anyone.

  3. Jen pegged our relationship and ability to disagree quite well in the last paragraph of her comments. I like the fact that we can take very different stances on subjects and respectfully disagree when everything gets boiled down. Jen, you never cease to amaze me. When I ask a seemingly simple or quick question, your response is virtually always exceptionally well-thought-out and well-said. I wish I could say the same for myself. That being said, I think my stances are no less heartfelt. That’s where the little leap of faith comes in–a little leap I’m quite happy to take.

    About Dawn…I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing compares.

  4. Very well stated. Have you ever considered being a writer? I’m intrigued by the book. I, also, have my mind made up, but can listen.

  5. Ah-ha-ha! I love to write, except when I hate it. Hat’s off to Shell for that question.

    Actually, Shelly is very good at making me be clear. She’s a good editor.