Monday, August 29, 2011

Books: Year in Review (Part 1)

So, something you should know if we're gonna hang out is that I love books. I fucking love them. And I love talking about them. I have book recommendations for everyone, including you. But Laura, you've never met me! you remind me. Ha! As though such paltry details could stop me.

I had fun listing my ten favorite books read while I was 25. But just listing them doesn't do them justice! You need to know why I loved them so much! You're in luck, 'cause I'm gonna tell you.

The Unbearable Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender. Have you read Aimee Bender before? She wrote An Invisible Sign of My Own and Girl in the Flammable Skirt. She writes characters so odd that they're unforgettable. Seriously. I read a lot, and my retention skills aren't the best. But I remember her characters. In AISoMO (because that's soooo much simpler...), her main character develops the ability to taste emotions when she eats food. Specifically, the emotions of the person who made the food. Bizarre, right? And awesome! I don't even want to tell you more because I don't want to give things away. But it's a truly original concept at the heart of this book, and I for one read it in one sitting. That was a great afternoon.

Wonder When You'll Miss Me, by Amanda Davis. This one deals with some issues close to my heart: body image, madness, and circus performers. I wish I had written this book. But at least someone did.

House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski. I debated whether or not to include this one in my top ten. It is out there, this book. How to even describe it? Part of it describes a series of films. Not feature films, more like...Blair Witch Project. Except good. And real. These were my favorite parts of the book. The film is about a house that is bigger on the inside. But not in a good, TARDIS-y way. A creepy, you-could-get-lost-in-your-own-home-and-never-escape kind of way. The other part of the book is the increasingly insane ramblings of a narrator who's discovered the film part of the book. To be honest, I skimmed some of these parts. But the parts about the house and the family who moved in were so great that this still made my top ten, so there you go.

To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis. It's like Jane Austen with time traveling! It's hilarious. It's fun. I loved this book from page one. Read it read it read it!

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. This was another read-in-one-sitting book. It's about two teenagers working out who they are and challenging each other to step outside their comfort zones. It's about reality intruding on fantasy. It'! It made me want to run right out and experience everything my city has to offer. I love books that make me want to do things.

Okay, so I'm gonna break it up into two posts! Consider this post the first. Are you reserving these books through your local library yet? I'll wait here.

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