[ Small Chirp ] Literary Whiplash

The week started so normal: Sunday spent cuddled on the couch watching a football game, yelling at the cat to stop pulling out his fur (“You’ll look silly naked!”), reading The Power of Six and marveling at the sheer badness of the book.

Then I got an email. An emergency request to review a book for the science magazine I regularly freelance for. Sure, I wrote back before even looking at the title. I love to read science things!

So from The Power of Six I went directly into How the Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser, a delightful narrative that follows a group of counterculture physics gurus as they investigate the kooky realms of quantum mechanics and parapsychology. And while the physics major in me absolutely adored the sentiment of the book—the exploration of the philosophy of physics—to go from rather crappy YA novel to an intense discussion on the non-locality of quantum particles was a bit of a headspinner.

But it was okay. I was making great progress with Physics when my mom called to ask how I was getting along with the book club novel for the month. Fuck, I thought. Not again.  So I grabbed Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan on my Nook, promising myself that someday I would get a head start on these damn book club selections. I was in for another jarring experience—from YA to Quantum Mechanics to the fluffiest lit fic I’ve ever had the mild disgruntlement to read.  The sentence structure is terrible and the story is very so-so. But at least it has a plot that does not involve aliens or any discussion of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

At this point, I’m suffering from some pretty major Literary Whipslash.  What say you, Canary readers? What’s the most mind-bending genre leap you’ve made in back-to-back readings?

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5 thoughts on “[ Small Chirp ] Literary Whiplash

  1. Once upon a time I spent a three-weeks vacations on a tiny island in the Azores. I miscalculated and finished my stock of books in the first week. The remaining two were spent alternating between the islands’ two reading options: Harlequin novels and yesterday’s sports paper.

  2. Sadly I do not read enough to suffer literary whiplash, although does it count I suffered a throbbing headache from Derrida and Lyotard after reading my usual fare of F/SF?

    Regarding that adorable graphic of the three canaries there…is one of them wearing a bikini??

  3. The closest I get to that kind of whiplash is during my weekly crit group where we go from romance to hard sci-fi back to back. I get a different kind of whiplash, I call it left-brain/right-brain workout when I’m trying to get work done on my novels or stories during breaks at work. My job is very analytical.

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