The Joy of Giving – Cruel book choices

Oranges are not the only fruit
Oranges are not the only fruit

Did you Outrageous Fortune watchers out there spot the book Loretta gave Casey for her birthday? Oranges are not the only fruit by Jeanette Winterson. It’s a compelling story of a young girl from an evangelist family and her lesbian relationship. After Casey’s sapphic scandal, it is a cutting choice.

Can you think of other examples where the giving of books are a weapon? There’s always the healthy living book for someone on the porky side, or the anger management book for someone with a fiery temper.

Clutter clinic
Clutter clinic

For me the cruellest gift would be a copy of The Clutter Clinic. I got it out of the library to see if I could get some advice on how to overhaul my over-stuffed bijou flat. It’s all the rage on tv at the moment too with the show The Big Stuff (I’ve only seen the ads – scary scary).

I didn’t like this book – the photos seem to show a room and then it tidied up a bit. Plus it felt like everything needs to be hidden in boxes (not such a bad idea). And the author said you can’t have any collections. That was the final blow. You can’t tell a librarian not to have collections.

What’s the meanest book you’ve ever been given/or given someone?

6 thoughts on “The Joy of Giving – Cruel book choices

  1. Mo-mo 27 August 2008 / 1:38 pm

    Ha-ha, good spotting Batman. I totally missed the literary dig from the “queen of mean” Loretta West.
    I once gave a friend Girlosophy. The breakup survival kit because she totally needed it. I meant it with love and that was the way in which it was received. Mind you I wasn’t that thrilled that she offered it back to me when I consequently found myself single…

  2. Lucette 27 August 2008 / 5:00 pm

    Did you notice the hollow book that hides the disc in Neo’s office near the beginning of The Matrix? Beaudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation” – perfect genius!

  3. Michael A 28 August 2008 / 10:38 am

    Can’t admit to having done it myself but have seen some very nasty “secret Santa” presents at office parties…

  4. Jane 28 August 2008 / 1:40 pm

    I can’t quite remember the title, but at the tender age of 42 getting a book called “How to lose weight during the menopause” (or something like that),wasn’t one of my better Christmas presents!

  5. Donna 28 August 2008 / 2:17 pm

    Errghhh yes, any diet or exercise book is bad news (unless you’ve asked for it).

  6. Claire 31 August 2008 / 3:41 pm

    A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – How crammed closets, cluttered offices, and off-the-cuff planning make the world a better place.

    I was going to stick it in my partner’s Christmas stocking because she is always going on about my clutter (not to mention all the BOOKS I bring home!). But I didn’t get around to doing that because I really did want it for myself (it wouldn’t have been a mean present to me).

    I think it would be the perfect anecdote to The Clutter Clinic.

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