Hello there! Welcome to this “Steamy Thursday” post!
“Steamy Thursday” has become my weekly tradition. I use it to express my passion for books—usually in a very strange and creepy manner. I have done Bookish-Porn photo shoots (yes, I show pictures of books without their dust jackets!) and I have included excerpts from my original work of fiction titled Fifty-One Hues of Mauve, which is bookish-erotica and contains scenes of book launching. All in all, “Steamy Thursday” is a way of expressing passion for books and yes sometimes I just feel a need to be creepy.
Today’s “Steamy Thursday” post lacks my usual creepiness. It consists of an excerpt from an incredibly amazing, wonderful book. If you haven’t read it, read it! The book I am referring to is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Seriously, this book is outstanding. It has depth, humor, and art (by Ellen Forney). It is good on all levels. It is touching, funny, insightful, and beautiful.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
Oh and for the sake of clarity, this book is bookishly steamy, not, you know, Fifty-Shades erotically steamy. There is a huge difference. The former portrays a passion for books, reading, and knowledge, while the latter portrays, ummm, well a passion for humping and what not. Some have wrongly The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian of being too sexually explicit. As someone who has actually read this book—and loved it—I would like to make it clear that the sexuality represented in this book is in no way explicit or graphic or offensive.[Sherman Alexie responds to mistaken allegations that his book is sexually explicit.] If I had read this book when I was ten years old, I would have been just fine. No trauma or psychological scarring or anything like that because it isn’t THAT kind of book! I just felt I should make that clear. I wouldn’t want to perpetuate any misunderstandings.
Well without further ado, here is the excerpt from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (paperback, pg. 96-98) oh, and fyi, it does include references to boners—metaphorical ones—and it does contain the words ”penis” and “heck”…mega gasp, no?:
“You read a book for the story, for each of its words," Gordy said, "and you draw your cartoons for the story, for each of the words and images. And, yeah, you need to take that seriously, but you should also read and draw because really good books and cartoons give you a boner."
I was shocked:
Did you just say books should give me a boner?"
”Yes, I did."
”Are you serious?"
”Yeah... don't you get excited about books?"
”I don't think that you're supposed to get THAT excited about books."
”You should get a boner! You have to get a boner!" Gordy shouted. "Come on!"
We ran into the Reardan High School Library.
”Look at all these books," he said.
”There aren't that many," I said. It was a small library in a small high school in a small town.
”There are three thousand four hundred and twelve books here," Gordy said. "I know that because I counted them."
”Okay, now you're officially a freak," I said.
”Yes, it's a small library. It's a tiny one. But if you read one of these books a day, it would
still take you almost ten years to finish."
”What's your point?"
”The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know."
Wow. That was a huge idea.
Any town, even one as small as Reardan, was a place of mystery. And that meant Wellpinit, the smaller, Indian town, was also a place of mystery.
”Okay, so it's like each of these books is a mystery. Every book is a mystery. And if you read all of the books ever written, it's like you've read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you keep on learning so much more you need to learn."
”Yes, yes, yes, yes," Gordy said. "Now doesn't that give you a boner?"
”I am rock hard," I said.
”Well, I don’t mean boner in the sexual sense,” Gordy said, “”I don’t think you should run through life with a real erect penis. But you should approach each book—you should approach life—with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point.”
The reason I shared this excerpt is because I feel that it beautifully and perfectly describes the passion we bookish people feel when it comes to reading; also, it’s funny!
There is nothing like stumbling on a book or author that just manages to write something that connects with you. When a book comes in, and it’s beautifully written and has awesome characters, you get sprung! Book-boners are the result of reading something that is just plain awesome. I get them all the time! In fact I had one while I was reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian! Life is about passion. If you don’t have passion, then you aren’t really living. That’s why I love to stalk blogs; that is why I started a blog. It is all about finding people who share your passion and connecting over the things you love!
“We read to know that we are not alone.”
- C. S. Lewis
Also, we read to explore the world. We read to expand our minds. We read to learn. We read to feel. We read to find and make connections.We read because we love it. We are here to find books and authors we love. Not everything we read is going to be boner-inducing, we all have different bookish-needs, but that’s the thing about being a part of a community founded on a shared passion: you get exposed to different opinions and discussions and you grow from them. Finding someone who disagrees with you can be fun if you focus on what you both share underneath the disagreements and that is passion!
And we can’t forget about authors…
To all those authors who write those boner-inducing books, who write for the love of writing and a love for their readers, thank you. It takes talent, courage, and perseverance to guide your stories from their birth place in your brain to the pages we book lovers read. We readers thank you for all your hard work. We thank you for the boners. Not everyone is going to love your work, but the people who do make it worth it, yes? Yes! We are all here for the very same reason: for the love of books. Besides, if everyone loved an author’s books, it would probably make the journey to success less, well, satisfactory.
In the end we must all remember the following: Respect book-boners, respect them!
Well, that is all I have to say about book-boners, for now.
Below I have included a video of Sherman Alexie. He is awesome! Plus, he reads the excerpt I shared with you today! Enjoy!
A National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman has been named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists and has been lauded by The Boston Globe as "an important voice in American literature." He is one of the most well known and beloved literary writers of his generation, with works such as The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Resevoir Blues and has received numerous awards and citations, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Fiction and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.