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August 01, 2007


Enna Isilee

I had to go back and read the article again just to understand what you were talking about. That wasn't the message I got at all.

But I have recently been depressed because I haven't had any books to read. I have only read 7 books this summer! 7! That's not right. I love your recommendations and I will add them to the list that all my LittleRed friends helped with. Woot! Hooray for reading!

P.S. I think it's so cool how the Deseret news is doing so much stuff on you. Super spiffa.


How did you like "Water for Elephants"?


By the way, Shannon, thanks for mentioning me! 'Preciate ya! If Deseret News ever decides to ask me any questions (beyond would I like to renew my subscription), I shall return the favor. I also didn't really come away with a Shannon-doesn't-like-non-fiction vibe, but I was thinking about my one brother-in-law. He only reads self-help or important biographies, and he does it because he feels like he HAS to, and he is depressed, and he hates reading. I've told him this for years, so he finally switched to fiction, in order to read "the classics". He's read 1984 and the abridged Les Miserables, and (oddly enough!) he's still depressed.


I read the article yesterday in the paper and thought it was great, but maybe that's just because I knew what you meant about self-help and non-fiction and so I didn't think twice about it. I knew you were talking about people who think they're "supposed" to read that.

Sarasponda--I loved Water for Elephants (one of my all-time faves) but it is ten times as "adult" as Shannon's Austenland. I would not recommend it to anyone under 18, or to anyone over 18 who would be offended by descriptions of nudity, etc.


Thank you, Shannon! Thank you for permission to read fiction. I'd do it anyway, but it's a comfort to know I have your blessing.

Fiction IS my self-help. I'm afraid I'd be a barely-functioning bag of human sadness without it.


"a non-functioning bag of human sadness."

That made me laugh.


Poor adults. I think they need to hear not just that fiction is okay, but anything they like reading, including fiction not aimed at adults. I applaud you adults who refuse to let notions of acceptable and unacceptable doom you to a life of literary boredom!

This reminds me of that reading pledge and the list of reader's rules you shared -- so excellent.

Enna Isilee

I just have to say that I've had some adults read "The Goose Girl" on my recommendation and when they were done they told me: "That was actually really good," like it's a surprise? What? Grrr. The world needs more fiction reading adults. Then maybe at least they won't be surprised.


I thought the article was fun - not offensive.

Thanks for the new ideas of what to read. I am heading to the library tomorrow!

I am really looking forward to Book of a Thousand Days.


I read non-fiction and enjoy it immensely. And I wasn't offended by your comment.

I've read self-help before (for CSP) and THAT was depressing. But for some people, self-help books actually---help.

Callie the Strongbad Fan

This is interesting insight, Shannon. I personally believe that it's important to read both fiction and non-fiction throughout the lifespan. It was a major difference when I switched my college major from English to Child Development because with the latter, I was assigned to read many non-fiction and self-help books as opposed to fiction. There are many great writers and thinkers who have written great advice to people and viewed the world in ways you may have never thought of before.

Carol Moss

This article is going to make my daughter, Heather, feel a lot better about finishing #7 Harry Potter recently. She not only did efficient reading during her "nursing" moments with her new baby - a boy who is growing big and eating all the time [very convenient when you're trying to read Harry Potter] but she also stole moments all day long on Monday to finish it. She finally just stopped everything to read. I know she felt some guilt. Now your article will make that okay! Thanks, she needed that!
Now that I think about it, her last "nursing" novel was your "Austenland" book. She loved it! Thanks!

shannon hale

Note on Water for Elephants: I agree with Nikki. I loved this book, but the content is definitely adult and won't be for everyone.


Both kinds of reading are important; I have been reading baby and pregnancy books galore, as I am pregnant with my first child. However, I live for fiction. There's nothing like good characters with whom to relate and captivating plots in which to immerse oneself.


I think that struggling to say what you mean is a problem for everyone. Also, it's probably natural for you to be maybe a little more critical of your own words.
It didn't strike me as "ouch" as you made it sound, like some others have said.
Besides, having read your work, we can tell that you can put ideas into words very well.


I wanted to read Water for Elephants. But I'm broke. The last of my money went to Twilight. And I need to get New Moon.

Someone I know only reads devotional books. I would be miserable. I live to read. And I have to read some of everything, or I'll die. (I'm not being dramatic, just serious.)

I am also currently book-less. So I'm reading Wuthering Heights (again!). It's very sad to have no books.


I did not think the article was as "ouch" as you made it sound. Really. I think adults should read more fiction because it does help to actually relate to a character and not just be told what to do in order to live a happy life or what to do in orer to do things in life right.
I'm still looking forward to Book of a Thousand Days.


did anyone see this?



Or this?


You're everywhere, Shannon dear.

Enna Isilee

First the Newbery, now the world! Mua ha ha!

Burning, just ask the LittleReders for books. I assure you that they won't let you down.


I definitely think it's good to have a large repetoire of books. My mom's book club decides every July what books to read during the year, so she recently attended the meeting and was very surprised to have only 4 fiction books decided on. (Twilight was one of them, for the record, which pretty much rocks.) The 7 non-fiction books chosen all sound interesting, but slightly overwhelming at the same time, so I hope my mom enjoys at least some of them.
Also, I hereby resolve to incorporate the phrase "Stuff and nonsense!" into my daily speech. :)


are you writing more bayern books?i just reread the series. i miss them please write more.they are some of my favorite books EVER.

Callie the Strongbad Fan

There are good non-fiction books for children and young adults, which I learned about when I took university classes on children's and young adult literature.

Enna Isilee

Annabanana, of COURSE she's writing more Bayern books. She told me herself ;) Well... there's at least one more. But I bet there will be even more after that.


ELLENBORO-I love Eva Ibbotson. She also wrote "The Star of Kazhan" (kids book) and "A Song for Summer." A Song for Summer made me bawl like an injured child, but it was great. A Countess Below Stairs is still my favorite, though. She also wrote some others, I can't find them at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, or Borders. But I will.

PS-I am very grateful to you, Shannon, for Isi. She helped me a lot yesterday.


Burning--I think all booklovers would suffer tremendously without a library, because few of us can afford to buy all the books we want to read. For the really popular books, I recommend finding your library's website and getting your name on the hold list, then they email you when your book is ready to pick up!


I also had to go back and read the article again. I couldn't find anything wrong with it until you told us! :o) It's very exciting to see your books everywhere-- the other day Amazon.com sent a e-mail to me saying "We recommend Austenland and more for the summer" and I almost squealed with excitement. Almost. :o)


I had read the article and didn't find anything wrong with it. I understand everything you said. It's so cool seeing you in the newspaper all the time though. You really are everywhere.:)

Enna Isilee

My mom recently got back from North Carolina and she brought me a USA today article on you(Shannon)!

the youngest princess

I love fiction! The Princess Bride is one of my favorite books ever!

Faith #2

I love TBP movie AND books.
It's sad- my grandmother and mom both don't like fantasy. I try to tell them: "no, you don't dislike fantasy! You just havne't found the right book yet!" but grandmother and mom don't listen... mom likes LoTR and GG, though. Grandmother doesn't like TGG because it's fantasy! NO! My mom would rather read books on military training and homeschooling, and grandmother would rather read murder mysteries. NOOOO!


Faith #2 -- I'm afraid you just have to let others have their preferences. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, no matter how wrong theirs might be. :P

My sister doesn't like fantasy either, and I've just had to accept that (*sniff*) so I don't stress about it anymore. Chin up! Be glad you at least like it!

Faith #2

True, at least I can annoy everyone else.


Nonfiction readers or those who don't read fiction are not being deprived. You can learn a lot from nonfiction, and a significant portion of the fiction published today isn't worth the trees dead for it to be printed. Besides, who says adults don't read for pleasure? Adults read thrillers, mysteries, Harlequin Romances, horror, science fiction, fantasy, all sorts of junk.

Enna Isilee

"And by the way, reading non-fiction and self-help will turn you into a non-functioning bag of human sadness."

It's a joke dude. Laugh or walk away.

Faith #2

I concur.


I think Dante was trying to show the other side of the argument.


Yes, you don't know how many times my words slipped when I had everything right there on the tip of my tongue to say.... And I never want to stop reading. It just seems so weird that some people don't enjoy reading. It's a great way to escape from the falsehoods around you...


I didn't think the article was offensive. I really liked "Shadow Divers." It had everything a good novel would have--suspense, drama, mystery. Some of the stories were so sad, but the thrill, the passion the divers felt about what they were doing transferred to me just like when I see something from the point-of-view of a fictional character.

I don't think it matters whether the material is fiction or non-fiction if it's written well and you love reading it. I like to read both, and so do my children. I read some pretty depressing fiction for my classes in college--some that I liked and some that I really didn't.

Language Warning: Some of the quotes from the divers in "Shadow Divers" have bad stuff.

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