…I give you an update on the reading front.
(Boring! you cry. Too bad.)
47. Everything I Needed to Learn About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume– ed. Jennifer Connelly
I had high hopes for this one because I did, in fact, learn a lot about being a girl from Judy Blume. I could have written an essay for this book, but did I get asked? I did not. I should have been, though, because the bar for getting into this book was set disastrously low. Some of the essays are quite good and remind me of all the great Blume books I read over my youth. But some of the essays are just…not anthology worthy. Connelly seemed to want only chick lit authors (not that I’m judging, hello!), but she didn’t have them space themselves out a bit. Girls, did anyone read anything but Deenie? The woman wrote a lot of books, but you all somehow empathized with the girl in the back brace? Really? Someone finally gets around to some of the other books, but there’s a set of Deenie-centric essays in the middle there. And where is Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great? Although I would have written my essay on Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. (I didn’t know there was a thing called “religion” until I read that book, and the essay I might write would have KILLED in this anthology. There. Gauntlet thrown down.)
48. Eat Pray Love– Elizabeth Gilbert
This is a re-read. Something I don’t usually do much of—not because there aren’t books I’d like to re-read, but because there are so many books I want to read for the first time. I don’t have unlimited time here, right? But this book was selected by my (very loosely organized) book club, so I re-read it. I don’t take book club lightly, apparently. If you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I like Italy best. The fact that I’m reading a “spiritual memoir” (gah. I just threw up a little in my mouth) is surprising, to say the least. And I don’t begrudge Gilbert; the woman can write. But I have to say that I enjoyed it less this time. I appreciated certain passages more this time around—got a few pages dog-earred for easy book club reference, if we even get around to talking about the book—and I still think it’s probably fantastic beach reading. (I read it on my back porch.) Maybe because I already knew where it went, I was less invested this time. It happens.
Speaking of re-reading. I started re-reading Harry Potter #1 (that’s shorthand, obv.) and it is not good. I know they get better somewhere around book #4, so I might pull it out and read it all again anyway. Why? I’m just very focused on playful reading right now. I cannot take Dickens or Melville when the sun is out, OK? And I would just like to read some women writers for a while. I’m totally sick of boy authors at the moment. I don’t know where this came from, but there it is. Most of the cannon is going to have a time-out while Lori gets her fill of fun. So fun (but not brainless) female-authored reads are now being solicited from the crowd. Remember my thing about happy literature? Like that, only more girl power.