I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.
What did I learn by reading "Understanding Sherman Alexie?" I learned I understand Sherman Alexie - or rather his writing - pretty well already.
This is a kind of lit-crit starter kit for those just learning how to read and use criticism. There were no startling insights in the book for me - in fact, I actively disagreed with the analysis a couple of times.
Reading this book brought back memories of discussions in graduate school about how to suss out a critic's theoretical stance when it is not openly given. How does the critic use the text in question? What sources does he or she quote? What is emphasized? What is ignored? A useful exercise. No reading is ever wasted.