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Books What I Love a Lot

Since the ever-delightful Meghan at Little, Brown basically turned me into a bashful hedgehog, I'm going to go hide under a daffodil, but first mention some books I love. Aside from Game of Thrones. Because I'm now mired in book 2 and not prancing about in gleeful abandon, singing its praises, SO.

So the deal with Auntie Mame is that it's as great as finding a tub of toasted marshmallows and tiny kittens. Only I guess more sanitary. Whatever I'd still eat those marshmallows.

It's a book about an older, rich woman, narrated by her nephew Patrick. The whole book's written in episodes, which is the best because then you can flip back to your favorites, like when Auntie Mame visits Patrick's uber-WASP girlfriend and her parents at their summer home and everything is the worst but then Mame says All the Things to them and suddenly everything is sunshine and diamonds.

The movie with Rosalind Russell is stellar. And I think I saw it before I read the book. You should do both. And then read Around the World with Auntie Mame. And then weep, for there are no more Mame books to conquer.

Every time I find a stand-out book, I feel so much RELIEF, because I can answer the 'What's your favorite book?' question (which I've actually noticed gets asked less as an adult). When I was 10, it was Gone-Away Lake, which I had with this cover here and which I BELIEVE I got from Scholastic book orders.

Gone-Away Lake is about two cousins who're at some summer home and go wandering off through a swamp (my memory for this plot is 15 years old, so...) and happen upon a bunch of dilapidated but formerly grand turn-of-the-century houses, and two old residents, Minnie and Pindar.

I love books with backstory and detail, and Gone-Away Lake is pretty much Minnie and Pindar telling stories about the people who used to live in the now-falling-apart mansions. I'm also 90% this is the book that taught me what a philosopher's stone is. Elizabeth Enright, marry me.

Remember Diana Victrix? No? Ok, well, it's a New Woman novel written by a Wellesley grad in 1897, where the two ladies decide not to get married to gentlemen, because they do not love them, and instead they live together forever and preach about socialism.

IT IS THE GREATEST. And one of the main characters is described as "Enid was tall and broad and strong; her skin was smooth; her flesh was firm; her eyes were brown and clear, with golden lights in them, like the lights in her hair."

Yesssss tell me more of Enid.

Books like this bring me immense joy, because when you sit down and think about the canon, you start realizing it's partly bullshit, because do you know what how much political ridiculousness a novel has to go through to get approved and taught and there are SO MANY excellent works that have fallen through the cracks of Time because not enough school board members decided they were representative of the values they wished to promote. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU to try to root out at least one or two non-famous books a year.

When people have asked me for recommendations (which I am hilariously bad at, by the way, because I just want to make everyone read the above), I've found myself leaning towards: The Sisters Brothers, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, The Invention of Wings, Orange Is the New Black, and Ready Player One. Those pretty much encompass the different styles casual readers like. I have a weird bee in my bonnet about Jodi Picoult, so I have no idea what I'd suggest to her readers. Are they the people who read Nicholas Sparks? There's probably a time and place for Nicholas Sparks in life, and I just haven't reached it yet. Or maybe I've filled that space with fanfic.

Yeah, that's probably it. 

That'll fill the space


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