Lists, Reviews

Admitting You’re a Nerd Is the First Step: A Top Ten List

The first step to what, I don’t know…

This week’s top ten list: best bookish memories (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish).

In chronological order?

The first time I read IT by Stephen King (you knew he’d be on this list somehow). I was 12 and the lone member of the Loser(s) Club. I lived in a small town and was the daughter of the town rebel who’d mysteriously disappeared. This particular small New England town had a way of both scrutinizing and overlooking you at the same time – a personal Derry, if you will. Reading about the Loser’s Club and how they all grew up to be successful despite their wretched beginnings (especially Bev) made me feel infinitely better. I think this was when I first started taking comfort in horror.

Discovering Jasper Fforde. “A pun is to wordplay what dominatrix sex is to foreplay – a stinging whip that elicits groans of guilty pleasure.” I like puns, both good and bad. It is not uncommon for my reviews to have puns in them. I’m also very fond of wordplay, particularly anagrams, euphemisms, oxymorons, and acrostics. So when I discovered Jasper Fforde (and The Jane Eyre Affair – how perfect), I fell in love. What’s often read dictates life, oftentimes validating expectations. (I feel like if I don’t point out that the last line is an acrostic, no one will get it. True, no?)

Reading John Irving. Because what’s life without levity and meandering flights of fancy in the face of serious issues.

Listening to Stephen King read Bag of Bones. It’s my favorite SK novel being read by the man himself. It was also interesting to hear how he intended it to be read (prosodic stress, emotion, the importance of a proper Maine accent, etc.).

Reading The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I’ve always felt very few people share my love for overly descriptive, borderline ridiculous language (which contrasts nicely with my love for minimalism). I believe Andrew Davidson shares my love as evidenced by The Gargoyle. Case(s) in point:

ex.1: My words were Egyptian hieroglyphics before the discovery of the Rosetta stone; my words were wounded soldiers limping home, guns spent, from a lost battle; my words were dying fish, flipping hysterically as the net is opened and the pile spreads across the boat deck like a slippery mountain trying to become a prairie.

ex. 2: Love isn’t a steadfast dog at all; love is more like a pygmy mouse lemur. Yes, that’s exactly what love is: a tiny, jittery primate with eyes that are permanently peeled open in fear. For those of you who cannot quite picture a pygmy mouse lemur, imagine a miniature Don Knotts or Steve Buscemi wearing a fur coat.

ex. 3: A cheese strand dangled from her mouth to the edge of her left nipple, and I wanted to rappel it like a mozzarella commando to storm her lovely breasts.

It’s nearly too much. Ridiculous and perfect. Language is wonderful, it needs to be manipulated and wallowed in from time to time.

Embracing my inner nerd and ’80’s love (and falling for Ready Player One). As Lit Nerd Around the World said: It’s a strange mix between Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryThe Matrix and the entire decade of the 1980’s…There are more geek references than you can stamp your foot at.

Finding others like me. Blogging has taught me that I’m not as unusual (read: weird) as I feel. This is good. Why yes, there are others who love Jane Eyre, Portlandia, Pad Thai, and Doctor Who (Alisa). There are even others who love John Irving, Richard Russo (I predict the future, so I know), good food, the ’80’s, and boarding schools as much as I do (Kate). There are even those who understand the seriousness of the The Oxford Comma.

Finding out that Shia LaBeouf had been replaced by Daniel Radcliffe in the Horns movie adaptation. No one said these had to be life changing. I’m a big fan of Joe Hill’s Horns and was more than nervous when I heard that Shia LaBeouf had been cast as Ig. I was significantly relieved when I found out about the casting change and now I can watch the movie without cringing.

Finally reading David Sedaris. I’d, via address (or perhaps redress), been told to read David Sedaris by more than a few of you. After reading this, I finally caved. How did I avoid reading Sedaris for so long? I don’t know. He’s even mentioned in the comments of this post I wrote last year (claiming I needed to finally read something by him). Didn’t happen, but the situation has now been rectified (I’m on my third book) and I recently listened to this (would’ve been better at Christmas, but still good).

My bookish memories are neither profound, nor particularly entertaining. You might deserve a prize if you read through this entire list. I’ve never met an author, though I saw Clive Cussler once in Golden, Colorado (he used to live here), rarely go to signings, and don’t belong to any book clubs (though I do lead a science one, does that count?). In short, I’m fairly certain my memories only matter to me, but I’m looking forward to reading yours (all of you who meet at ALA, BEA, Comic-Con, or live in NY where all the authors go).

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