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(Coffee) Shop Talk

Welcome to the shop where I talk about things that go well with coffee, which is almost everything.

I love this site. I spent a long time making it look good, and I like most of what I’ve written. I just wish I had more to say; it makes me sad to leave this place empty for such long stretches.

I’m reading East of Eden right now. I love Steinbeck’s prose style, and the quality of his observations about life and the human condition, but he doesn’t have a single complex female character, and he doesn’t have any characters who aren’t white. Say what you will, I think that a lack of diversity in characters detracts significantly from the overall quality of a work, as well as from an author’s legitimacy in making claims about the condition of all humans.

On the other hand, the book does explore in depth the variations among white males, and the few white males who do get spotlighted are very satisfyingly complex. I also enjoy the fact that the length and scope of East of Eden allow it to span several generations. It lets you know where (and who) your main characters are coming from.

I’m about a quarter done with the book, and so far my overall judgment is that it’s a book I would very much like to fall in love with, but its treatment of women and disparaging references to Native Americans offend me so deeply that I don’t think I’ll be able to.

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