My friend Kinsey has a superpower: she can recommend a book to anyone, even books she hasn’t read to people she hasn’t met. It doesn’t matter, they will love whatever book she recommended. I’ve always been, not jealous exactly, more wistful, wishing that I had the same talent. Unfortunately, instead, I’m Kinsey’s kryptonite.
The first time my antipower reared its ugly head, I was trying to find a Christmas present for Kinsey and while shopping, ran into another friend. He recommended My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki, describing it as a funny culture-clash story about an Asian American woman working as a translator in the meat industry. That sounds interesting and sophisticated, I thought to myself, so I bought it and gave it to Kinsey for Christmas.
Then, she read it and was forced to turn vegetarian for several years until she finally tracked down a small, organic, humane farm nearby through which to order all her meat. She then passed the book along to another friend of mine, who was already vegetarian, figuring it couldn’t do any harm, but failing to mention the brutal rape scene, which traumatized that friend. So, my antipower continues on.
I never did go back and read My Year of Meats, and since then I’ve given Kinsey as gifts a terribly-written book and a book that she’d already read. I’m hoping she’ll still join me in this blog.