Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Month In The Life: May 2020

And we're tentatively moving towards something that at least sort of resembles normalcy. It was just three months ago that my mom came out to visit for the weekend, and now the idea of traveling from Michigan to Nevada (or the other way around) feels almost reckless. But stores are starting to open up again with masks and social distancing, as are restaurants, though we're still sticking to takeout for now. Plans that I'd made for the future got canceled, and it remains to be seen where we are three months from now, much less next year. But we can only go forward, one day at a time, so on we go!

In Books...
  • Foundation: For all the books I read about British royalty, I figured I should get a firmer grounding in full extent of British history. This is the first in a five-book set and it was exactly what I was looking's oriented towards popular rather than scholarly consumption, so it's straightforward to read. It jams quite a bit into one book so it does feel like it's moving a little quickly at times.
  • Bird Box: I am a jumpy person, which means horror is a genre I'm not especially drawn to. This one had enough buzz that I gave it a try. I thought it was good, it was unnerving enough that I couldn't read it before bed if I wanted to fall asleep easily. The plot drew me in, but I found a climactic scene too be a little ridiculous and it didn't really stick with me after I finished it. 
  • The Son: In this stressful time, when I've sometimes had trouble focusing on my books, I thought maybe a plot-driven Nordic crime thriller would grab my attention. Another one might have, but this one did not. There were too many characters, and the plot was well-paced but often ludicrous. It wasn't god-awful, but it certainly wasn't good. 
  • The Weight of Silence: This is just...really bad. A multiple-perspective story about two little girls who go missing one morning in rural Iowa, it's supposed to be suspenseful but fails to ever generate any suspense. The narrative voices, ranging from a seven year-old child to an adult university professor, are essentially all the same and the domestic violence drama at the heart of the story does not at all come together.
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: What an entertaining book! This story, about a woman who slowly becomes convinced that her handsome new neighbor is in fact a vampire, and who bands together with the other women of her book club in order to devise a plan to drive him away, is a delight. It deftly balances elements of comedy, drama, and real suspense and was completely charming. 
  • Howards End: I'd hated A Passage to India when I read it a few years back, so was a little reluctant to read another Forster book (even though I'd seen and liked the movie of this one). This is why I always give authors a second chance, though...I quite enjoyed this story of the entanglement of three families representing various aspects of the English class system. I particularly appreciated the richness of the characters and the bond between sisters Margaret and Helen. 
  • The Space Between Us: This was another book that had reviews highlighting strong relationships between women and deep engagement with issues of class, but woof. Just endless female suffering (to the point where it basically feels like trauma porn), a stale and predictable plot, stereotypical characters, and uninspired prose. It could not have left me colder.

In Life...
  • Back to work: I've been back in the office (on reduced in-person hours) for the past two weeks, and it's kind of strange getting back into a different routine. It was also quite jarring when I started working from home every day, but I got kind of used to it and now getting used to something else is an adjustment. I'm appreciating the flexibility to work from home as I'm not quite comfortable yet spending full days "at work".

One Thing:

As the reaction to George Floyd's murder at the hands of the police in Minneapolis continues to resonate, it seems (I hope) like we're ready to have a conversation about the fundamental injustices that people of color in the United States are forced to reckon with every single day. As a white person, it's my job to listen and amplify the voices of those with less privilege than I have, and be an ally to them in my own community even when the conversations are difficult. To that end, I recommend reading this piece about the ways in which the myth of the "perfect victim" allows those with power to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the ways in which people of color find themselves trapped in a situation where there's no way to win.

Gratuitous Pug Picture:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book 235: Landline

"Sometimes she lost her place when she was arguing with Neal. The argument would shift into something else—into somewhere more dangerous—and Georgie wouldn't even realize it. Sometimes Neal would end the conversation or abandon it while she was still making her point, and she'd just go on arguing long after he had checked out."

Dates read: May 21-23, 2018

Rating: 6/10

My husband and I didn't meet until our late 20s. While obviously that's worked out, sometimes I'm a little jealous of people who meet the person they end up with early on in life. Knowing someone in that way you only really can when you watch them grow up and come into themselves is special. On the other hand, though, the 20s can be such a turbulent decade that the person we are near the end of it is very different than the person that began it. And for me, that's a good thing. I honestly don't know that my husband and I would have found each other especially interesting if we'd met in college.

Growing together really lies at the heart of what makes a long-term relationship work. In Rainbow Rowell's Landline, Georgie and Neal meet while working at their campus humor magazine in college, marry when they're 23, and by the time they're in their late 30s, they have what looks like on the outside to be a cozy little setup. Georgie writes for a cheesy sitcom, and Neal is a stay-at-home dad to their two little girls. But Georgie and her long-time writing partner, Seth, have dreamed of their own show for ages and they finally get the chance to pitch it to someone who could make it happen. In order to give it their best shot, though, Georgie will need to miss the annual family trip to Nebraska to spend Christmas with Neal's parents. Her decision to do so, combined with her husband's growing dissatisfaction, puts her marriage in jeopardy.

Desperate to get ahold of her husband and with a dying cellphone, she drags out an old landline phone to connect with him. Georgie slowly comes to realize, though, that while the voice on the other end of the line is her husband, it's not him now. It's him on Christmas break their senior year in college, when he broke up with her but then suddenly showed up on her doorstep with a ring. As she remembers the early days of their love story, and the versions of themselves they used to be, she finds herself thinking about how things have changed over the years and re-evaluating what it actually is that she wants and needs from her life.

Rainbow Rowell is a writer who is constantly recommended on the internet for her sweet, compelling love stories. This one will strike a chord for many women who work and feel stuck between their home/family life and their career. Although Georgie's probably the more relatable character simply because the story's told from her perspective, I really appreciated that both she and Neal are painted in shades of grey. She's not demonized for wanting to be successful in her chosen field, but neither is he for feeling neglected and put-upon. The characters Rowell builds feel real, and so do the situations she puts them in. And, crucial in a book about being on the phone, she's got a great knack for dialogue.

Now on to the less good. Landline was Rowell's first adult novel (most of her work falls into YA), and I'd heard it was not one of her stronger efforts. I'm glad I had that warning ahead of time, because while I thought there were a lot of flaws here I wasn't crushingly disappointed. In order to really buy into the book, you have to be emotionally invested in Georgie and Neal's love story, and I just wasn't. I didn't understand what brought them together in the first place, much less what kept them together. And the tone of the whole thing just felt wonky. On the one hand, Rowell clearly wanted to write something light-hearted and charming, with quirky side characters all over the place to keep the mood up (her mom breeds pugs AND has a much younger husband! And her younger daughter insists on being called Noomi instead of Naomi AND talks like a cat!). But on the other, she's trying to write something heartfelt about the challenges of making sure you and your spouse/partner are growing together and not apart, and the stresses of trying to keep your family happy and achieve your professional goals. That's a much more serious book, and in trying to toe the line between them it fails more often than it succeeds. But I liked the quality of her writing, and while I ultimately wasn't wow-ed by this book, I'm definitely interested in reading her YA.

One year ago, I was reading: Midnight's Children (review to come)

Two years ago, I was reading: The Sky Is Yours

Three years ago, I was reading: The Panopticon

Four years ago, I was reading: Shylock Is My Name

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about the very first words with which an author tries to snag you. That's right, it's time for favorite opening lines. You only get one chance at a first sentence, and here are ten of my favorites!

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." (The Hobbit)

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." (1984)

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." (Anna Karenina)

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." (Pride and Prejudice)

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." (Lolita)

"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." (Mrs. Dalloway)

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York." (The Bell Jar)

"The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we understood the gravity of our situation." (The Secret History)

"On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope." (The Virgin Suicides)

"In later years, holding forth to an interviewer or to an audience of aging fans at a comic book convention, Sam Clay liked to declare, apropos of his and Joe Kavalier’s greatest creation, that back when he was a boy, sealed and hog-tied inside the airtight vessel known as Brooklyn, New York, he had been haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini." (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Book 234: The Heart of Everything That Is

"The more circumspect Red Cloud also recognized that the white man’s war had finally arrived on his doorstep, first from the east following the troubles in Minnesota, and now from the south. There was nowhere to run. Nor, he reasoned, should his people have to run. It was time, once and for all, to fight the mighty United States and expel the Americans from the High Plains. He had long planned how to do this. The only question had been when. Sand Creek had answered that: Now." 

Dates read: May 16-21, 2018

Rating: 6/10

At some point, it seems, most American kids end up playing "cowboys and Indians" (I know, I know, problematic). And at least when I was growing up, it seemed like you got more takers for the former than the latter. Everyone knew the Indians were going to lose. That's how history worked, after all. It's not just in the United States. The history of the world is rife with examples of indigenous people being treated like garbage by dominant cultures: the Maori in Australia, the Ainu in Japan, the Sami in's a sadly familiar story.

As hard as the Native Americans fought to retain their land against white settlers, their military victories were few and far between. Most of us have at least vaguely heard of Custer's Last Stand, but before that, a battle in Wyoming called Fetterman's Fight led to the deaths of 81 soldiers of the US Army and the (temporary) withdrawal of troops from Indian territory. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Heart of Everything That Is takes a deep dive the battle, from its roots in the inter-tribal warfare among the Plains Indians to the rise of Red Cloud as a leader among the Lakota to his (ultimately short-lived) martial triumph. It has significant biographical detail about Red Cloud, but it's not trying to be a comprehensive look at him in particular. Rather, it uses Fetterman's Fight as a microcosm of the greater struggle of the Plains and Western tribes against the changes to their lifestyles wrought by white Americans driving further and further west.

Drury and Clavin strive to present a straightforward, unvarnished look at their subjects and push back against the idea that before protracted contact with whites, Native Americans lived as idyllic pacifists. Tribes had allies and enemies and some of them were very comfortable inflicting brutal violence against the latter. Red Cloud was brought up among his mother's people, the Oglala Lakota, one of the more aggressive branches of the greater Lakota nation, and was groomed for leadership by his mother's uncle. As he grew up, his people were pushed farther and farther from their traditional territory and he fought against enemy tribes in his youth, gaining renown, before turning his attention to the threats posed by the continually promise-breaking whites.

After a series of skirmishes, things came to a head at Fort Phil Kearney. It was a perfect storm: angry at yet another incursion into their land, the Lakota were able to ally with other tribes. The leadership at the fort was both arrogant and foolhardy. Red Cloud was a smarter tactician than his opponents. And the United States was forced to retreat, to abandon its forts. But it lasted less than a decade. The book covers the immediate aftermath of the battle, but only touches on the long run: Red Cloud, taking a trip to Washington, DC, realized the scale of the threat to his people and the ultimate hopelessness of continuing the fight, and led those that would follow him onto the reservation.

Pretty much any book about Native American history is inevitably compared to Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee simply because of that book's prominence. And I'd say this book is an excellent companion. It doesn't have, and honestly doesn't try for, the scope of Bury of My Heart, which covers more tribes over a longer time period. Instead, it takes a little known episode (I'd never heard of the Fetterman Fight) and explains it, placing its people and events into a larger context. And the book succeeds at this task, developing not only Red Cloud and to a lesser extent, his young protege Crazy Horse, as compelling and sympathetic characters, but also presenting the life of the Army fort, populated not just with soldiers but with families. No one is a cardboard cutout villain.

That being said, this book does occasionally get a little dry. I know some people are fascinated with military history and can happily read about tactics and battles for hours, but I am not one of those people. I find it deeply boring to read about attack techniques, and so I did experience waning interest when I think I was supposed to be the most engaged, during the climactic battle itself. I also found myself wanting more of the aftermath, more of Red Cloud's long life after this particular point. Overall, though, it's an interesting look at a part of history that's not well-understood by most potential readers, and I'd definitely recommend it as a way of broadening one's knowledge base about the formation of the United States as we know it today.

One year ago, I was reading: Midnight's Children (review to come)

Two years ago, I was reading: Landline

Three years ago, I was reading: Migraine

Four years ago, I was reading: Devil in the White City

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I Love Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about why we love our favorite genres. I try to read pretty broadly across genres, but one that I really enjoy doesn't seem to get much love: the classics! People are quick to dismiss them as boring and irrelevant, and while there is certainly fair criticism about the literary "canon", many of these books are great, y'all! I could not quite come up with ten, so here are eight reasons I love the classics (and you should try reading them too!).

People are impressed by it: I'm shallow, I admit it. When people are impressed that I've read War and Peace, I get to feel very intellectual. Here's the secret: it's not a difficult read at all, it's actually very straightforward and engaging. It's just really long. But people who haven't read it don't know that!

They're often more modern than you think: We might have iPhones and streaming music now, but it turns out many of the struggles people face (dealing with family, finding and sustaining love, connecting with other people) are universal and once you get past the more formal language and horse-drawn carriages, these books are really applicable to life!

They help you understand references: I won't pretend that I don't feel smug when I can spot allusions to the classics in newer books, movies, and television shows.

They teach you history: History can feel like a dry collection of names and dates when you're trying to learn it, but stories like Vanity Fair (the Napoleonic Wars) and Les Miserables (the French Revolution of 1830) can make those times come to life!

They've stood the test of time: I think we've all watched the hype machine build up a book only to have seen it all but disappear a few years later. These books have been read for decades or sometimes even hundreds of years, so there's definitely something there.

There's something for everyone: There are long books! There are short books! There are horror and romance and science fiction and fantasy! It's an umbrella category that covers a lot of different kinds of things so there is almost certainly something you'd enjoy.

You can find them secondhand very cheap, or free for many e-readers: There are a bajillion copies of Great Expectations out there, you absolutely do not need to spend more than a few dollars on it or many other classics. And for those books in the public domain, you can usually get them free on your e-reader of choice!

They can be challenging: We all like things that are fun and easy to read, but there's a sense of accomplishment that comes with wrestling with something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and classics can definitely give you that extra intellectual stimulation.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Book 233: Far From The Madding Crowd

"She was the stuff of which great men's mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, hated at tea parties, feared in shops, and loved at crises."

Dates read: May 11-16, 2018

Rating: 8/10

Lists/awards: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2012 edition)

Most people will say that they appreciate a "strong female character", but what exactly do we mean by that? What makes a woman strong? Often it seems like it gets interpreted as literal physical strength, a la Buffy Summers, or else a kind of "tough girls don't cry" emotional repression. As a reaction to the stereotypical depiction of women as delicate flowers prone to wailing or running away when faced with challenges, or as objects to be rescued and therefore earned at the end, there is strength in presenting women as having physical and/or emotional toughness. The idea, though, that the way for women to be strong is to be more like men doesn't feel like it encompasses enough about women's strength.

As a woman, I think what I most gravitate towards when I'm looking for a "strong female character" is agency. The ability to make her own choices, knowing the consequences, and then continue to make them for better or worse in a way that feels like they're actually real choices a person would make. There are a surprising number of these kinds of characters in the classics (though they have a not-unfair reputation for being dominated by men's stories), and some of my favorite have been found in the work of Thomas Hardy. In his Far From The Madding Crowd, our central character is Bathsheba Everdene, who we watch grow from an inexperienced but capable young woman to owning and running her own farm and learning some brutally hard lessons about relationships, through her own effort and largely by her own hand. Bathsheba isn't without flaws, and some of the choices she makes are bad ones, but you never lose the sense that she's in control of her own destiny.

Bathsheba catches the eye of young farmer Gabriel Oak when she's on her way to live with a cousin to help out on the farm, and he soon grows besotted with her beauty. He proposes, but through they've built a friendly acquaintance, she shoots him down because she doesn't love him. She leaves when she inherits a farm of her own, and after financial disaster strikes and Gabriel loses his own toehold in the landed class, he winds up working for her as a shepherd. Unlike many owners (particularly female ones), she insists on being an active part of the operation of her land, and she and Gabriel become trusted allies to each other. When a silly joke with an older, eligible bachelor neighbor, Boldwood, leads to the other man's obsession with her, Bathsheba resists making a marriage with him as well but is under tremendous pressure to accept his suit. And then Sergeant Troy happens...he's young and hot and even though his heart belongs to his childhood sweetheart, he and Bathsheba have a whirlwind fling that ends in holy matrimony. Drama ensues.

If you can read Hardy without feeling a passionate longing to go spend some time out in the middle of nowhere for a while, you're a stronger person than I am. He doesn't gloss over the very real toil of rural life, but he presents it so persuasively as the most harmonious way to live that it makes you think about what it would be like to chuck it all and go buy a little piece of land and work it yourself. I would never do that, I know I'd hate it about 48 hours in, but Hardy was very concerned with growing industrialization and his preference to maintain traditional pastoral lifestyles is obvious. But his real strength lies in his complicated, multifaceted characters. While Gabriel Oak is a little on the idealized side, Bethsheba, Boldwood, and Troy are all painted in shades of grey that give them nuance and interest, and the drama derives from circumstances that mostly feel organic, giving real weight to their choices and interactions.

The more classics I've read in my late 20s and beyond, the more convinced I am that we do young readers a disservice by insisting on reading them in high school. While there's nothing going on here at a conceptual level that a reasonably intelligent teenager couldn't grasp, there's also so much more that you can bring into the novel of your own experience once you have some under your belt that gives it so much more life. If I'd tried to read this at 16, I doubt I would have cared for it, but at 32 (which is how old I was when I read it) it's got full layers of meaning that I really responded to. It's lengthy, but it moves along pretty well, and I would definitely recommend giving it a read!

One year ago, I was reading: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Two years ago, I was reading: This!

Three years ago, I was reading: The Skies Belong to Us

Four years ago, I was reading: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Should Have Abandoned

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! I'm doing a twist on this week's topic, which was supposed to be the last ten books we abandoned. While I judge no one else for not wasting their reading time on something they're not enjoying, I am a never-DNF type. Even I, though, will admit that sometimes I probably would have been better off throwing in the towel. Here are ten books that I found so bad I should have just put them down forever.

The Perfect Son: I did not know it was possible to have so many cliches in one book.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: Turns out I just really don't like reading about people having feelings about nature/the outdoors.

Whores of the Devil: This survey of accused witches and heretics throughout history seemed like the kind of thing that I would enjoy but the author wrote in such a lurid fashion based on sketchy details and it was incredibly off-putting.

Catch-22: I often don't care for satires, and this was no exception. It has one joke (war is ridiculous!) and doesn't go anywhere for hundreds and hundreds of pages.

Soon the Light Will be Perfect: This book is pretty short but tries to balance way too many plots and feels like a draft that needed real work.

Empire Falls: I had high hopes for this Pultizer-winning family drama but it was just awful. Misogyny and lots of feelings about "real America" and a sensationalized school shooting subplot...just a mess.

The Man in the High Castle: I wanted a story and got mostly a thought experiment. It wasn't completely without interest, but I did not care about any of the characters or what happened to them.

Good Riddance: This was supposed to be a light-hearted comedy but was just offensivelydumb.

Ready Player One: This book had such hype, and was so mediocre and boring.

Shantaram: I hated this book almost immediately, and unfortunately it's pretty lengthy. I eventually got into a kind of hate-reading groove that let me finish it, but I wish I had just stopped reading it.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Book 232: Children of Blood and Bone

"The children of Orïsha dance like there's no tomorrow, each step praising the gods. Their mouths glorify the rapture of liberation, their hearts sing the Yoruba songs of freedom. My ears dance at the words of my language, words I once thought I'd never hear outside my head. The seem to light up the air with their delight—it's like the whole world can breathe again."

Dates read: May 7-11, 2018

Rating: 6/10

When I was a little kid, I longed constantly for a sign that I was special. Not "in all the advanced classes" special, I already knew I was smart, but actual special. Someone was going to appear in my little small town, find me, and announce to the world that there had been a terrible mix-up, and I was urgently needed elsewhere so I could fulfill my glorious destiny. Or maybe I had to prove it, had to find the magic that was surely lurking within me and I spent more time than I should admit trying to do like Matilda Wormwood and move things with my mind. It never worked. No one ever came for me, and I grew up and took myself where I wanted to go, which is as it should be anyways.

I suspect, though, that I'm not the only one who nurtured these fantasies of being suddenly wrested from my ordinary experience to have magical adventures. Hence the popularity of "chosen one" narratives, particularly in the young adult genre. Tomi Adeyemi builds on the legacy of the Percy Jacksons and Pevensie siblings that came before, but for her debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, she grounds it thoroughly outside of the "white people in Western countries" place it has lived for so long. She creates as her world Orisha, loosely based on Nigeria and the magic in her tales comes from the mythology of the region. There used to be magicians in this world, the maji, divided into ten clans with a special connection to gods and goddesses and their representative elements. But then a cruel, autocratic king cracked down and slaughtered the maji. The adults, anyways. The children were left behind.

The loss of her mother in the raid that ended magic haunts teenage Zelie even years later. She takes after her mother in that she's a Diviner, born with the distinctive white hair that marks her as a potential maji and therefore subjected to discrimination. Her brother Tzain, though, is "normal" like their father, who's never recovered from the loss of his wife. Their lives are forever changed when one day Zelie heads to the capital city to go to the market, and runs into Amari, the country's princess, fleeing her father and the palace with a powerfully important scroll. That scroll, along with other artifacts, has the power to bring magic back to Orisha. Zelie, Amari, and Tzain find themselves on the run from the King and his son, Amari's brother Inan, who discovers much to his dismay that he's not as dissimilar from the Diviners he hates as he'd like. An unexpected connection between Zelie and Inan could be what saves them all...or what dooms them.

This is not my usual type of book: I don't read YA particularly often, and it focuses heavily on plot over characterization and prose. Nevertheless, that plot moved forward so relentlessly that it was impossible to resist getting swept up in it, even when it veered toward the ridiculous. From nearly the second we meet them, our characters are under threat, and no sooner does one danger pass than another arises. Even as the story zooms, Adeyemi does some quality world-building, introducing the reader to a deeply earth-rooted system of magic in a way that gave enough detail to be intriguing without gratuitous information-dumping. It's refreshing to read a story that doesn't rely on the same familiar Christian and/or Eurocentric myths for inspiration.

That being said, while the details of the story are fresh, many of the beats are eye-rollingly familiar: enemies to friends, hate to love, capture and rescue. There are serious, serious deficiencies in character one feels like more than a set of keywords and relationships that the readers are clearly supposed to get deeply invested in are so thinly sketched that the "payoff" barely registers. Prose quality that might elevate the more rote elements is absent...the writing isn't at all bad, but neither is it ever more than serviceable. The book doesn't feel like it's meant to be taken in and of itself, but rather as a springboard: for a movie, for sequels. While it's compelling and compulsively readable while it's in your hands, it loses a lot when it's over and you have time to think about it. I maintain only a vague sort of "if it's on the Kindle for less than $5" interest in continuing the series. If you're into this genre and these kinds of stories, you'll probably very much enjoy this book. If you're looking for something to keep you entertained on the airplane, this is a solid choice. If this isn't the kind of story you're predisposed to like, though, this is skippable.

One year ago, I was reading: Battleborn

Two years ago, I was reading: This!

Three years ago, I was reading: Friday Night Lights

Four years ago I was reading: Vinegar Girl

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I’d Invite To A Party

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about the bookish parties we'd throw, and I decided to focus my list on the characters that would be fun at a party. Here are ten characters I think would make excellent party guests!

Lizzy Bennet (Pride and Prejudice): If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me!

Jordan Baker (The Great Gatsby): Anyone who shows up to Gatsby's parties is welcome at mine.

Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones's Diary): Every party needs a bit of a hot mess.

Margaery Tyrell (A Storm of Swords): She's both politically astute and genuinely good-hearted and talented at putting the people around her at ease, all of which make for a good party guest.

Sookie Stackhouse (Dead Until Dark): Sookie is savvy and kind and loyal and while parties probably aren't her favorite because of the whole mind-reading deal, she would be fun to hang out with!

Georgia Nicolson (Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging): She's a delightfully daft teenager and would absolutely do something unintentionally hilarious.

Lady Brett Ashley (The Sun Also Rises): She's kind of a tragic partier, but she parties nonetheless.

Vianne Rocher (Chocolat): Vianne would bring the good chocolate to share.

Ifemelu (Americanah): Ifemelu would be absolutely fascinating to get into a corner and have a serious conversation with.

Kolya Vlosov (City of Thieves): This party is otherwise all women, so let's throw a charming flirty young guy into the mix.