Friday, August 7, 2009

I had that Weekly Reader too, you know!

My name is Jamie, and I am a book-o-holic. And I’m sure most of you were already aware of that little fact. At the moment, I am completely sucked into the Kindle phenomenon. Oooh, it’s so great. I was originally of the opinion that I would never, ever, ever, ever feel the need for the Kindle. A book hoarder like me would never leave my actual paper pages for a digital screen. The whole tactile experience would be lost. The smell of a newly opened book, extinguished. Future generations would never be able to dig up a Kindle and learn about our culture. We can read the Dead Sea Scrolls, what are they going to do with a desiccated hunk of plastic?

Um. So. It turns out that I was just rationalizing to take the focus from the fact that I am cheap.

This Kindle thing is fabulous. El fabuloso. Most definitely the best gift I have ever, ever received, with the possible exception of the year Santa brought a puppy.

The first three books I bought for the kindle were:
1. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (Yeah, yeah.)
2. Shelf Discovery by Lizzie Skurnick
3. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

First off, mad props to Lizzie Skurnick. Skurnick has a column on called “Fine Lines” in which she re-reads old Young Adult books, and reviews them based on her adult perspective combined with her reminiscences of her teen reading. Why do I not have ideas like this????? Do you realize how many books which are, as I type, residing in a closet somewhere in my parents’ house were reviewed in this collection of essays? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Westing Game and even Flowers in the Attic. Freaking Flowers in the Attic! I can see me right now in the seventh grade, carrying a turquoise Liz Claiborne pocketbook within which was one of the (many, many) V.C. Andrews books and a tester for Polo Sport Cologne. I don’t know which the more confusing fad was: (a) compulsory reading of terrible, poorly written, often incestuous teen literature or (b) requiring that one’s purse smelled like men’s fragrance. Did we think we were growing boyfriends in our Liz Claiborne’s?

Second off, I’m struggling with Best Friends Forever. I love Jennifer Weiner. Love her long time. I bumped into a copy of her first book, Good in Bed, years ago and have been in love ever since. But I am not in love with this book. I started reading Weiner because she writes novels generally starring big girls, which is more of a rarity than you would realize. Carrie Bradshaw and Sookie Stackhouse don’t exactly shop at Lane Bryant, you know. But I stayed because she writes books that I would enjoy reading even if they did not have the weight angle. The plots are strong. The characters feel real, and flawed, and a lot of the time they remind me of people I know, if only we were a little smarter and had more snappy dialogue. Plus I am a big fan of Jennifer Weiner’s voice when she just writes as herself. There’s a link to her blog – A Moment of Jen – over there on the right. She also writes guest posts for various sites like the Huffington Post, and she actually wrote the essay on Judy Blume’s Blubber for Skurnik’s Shelf Discovery.

So what is it about this book?

I just can’t quite figure it out. I’m almost done with it and I am hoping for a last minute pass. I think it’s partly because the heroine reminds me a bit too much of myself in certain ways. Or me in a younger, less self-assured time, perhaps. I think it might be because I just cannot justify any investment in Valerie, the “frenemy". I find myself talking to the Kindle, saying “LADY, your friend there is obviously in need of heavy psychiatric medication and quite possibly some electroshock therapy as well” but thus far it is not working. Maybe I will give you a more detailed analysis when I finish. Like I said, I have high hopes for the end.

Maybe I should make that a regular feature, like Jamiereadit Day on Jamiedidit. A-ha! Coming next month…..September Book Club selection Same Kind of Different as Me.

Although, now that I think about it, V.C. Andrews might need a re-reading.


Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I know someday I will succumb to a Kindle, but I rally love the feel of a book.

A Belle and her Beau said...

ummm hellooo Jen Lancaster totally shops at Lane Bryant! and she is wayy cooler than Carrie Bradshaw will ever be in my heart :)

Layne Street said...

Jamie. I asked my co-worker if she had played a drinking game called a-hole or circle of death and she said, "I don't drink. I don't play drinking games. Drinking is not a game."

So uhh...what are those? Also...I feel like I commented on this post regarding a book club and it's not here anymore? Was it offensive? Too inspiring??