Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've noticed a lot of copies of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on the CTA, so I was pumped when a co-worker said she could lend it to me. I became skeptical when I started reading, however. I read the first few letters and quickly flipped forward, looking for when the real story would start. Obviously I quickly realized the entire book comprises a series of correspondence between characters. Ugh. I like my books in standard form. Any deviation can cause extreme irritation. The comic strips preceding each chapter of The Tenth Circle, for example, did not sit well with this reader.

It didn't take long, however, for Juliet Ashton to win me over. On page 12 she writes, "I much prefer whining to counting my blessings." Finally a main character I can relate to! A nice change after weeks of trying to decide whether to be inspired or horrified by Mamah Borthwick's personal brand of feminism in Loving Frank.

And then Juliet's description of why she broke off her engagement sealed the deal:
"On the afternoon before our wedding, Rob was moving in the last of his clothes and belongings while I delivered my Izzy article to the Spectator. When I was through, I tore home, flew up the stairs, and threw open the door to find Rob sitting on a low stool in front of my bookcase, surrounded by cartons. He was sealing the last one up with gummed tape and string. There were eight boxes--eight boxes of my books bound up and ready for the basement ... I was too appalled to speak ... every shelf--where my books had stood--was filled with athletic trophies ... There were awards for every game that could possibly be played with a wooden object ... There were statues for everything a man could jump over, either by himself or on a horse... All I could do was scream, 'How dare you! What have you DONE?! Put my books back!' Well, that's how matters started ... He huffed and puffed and snorted--and left. And I unpacked my books."
Luckily when I moved last month, it was made clear ahead of time that my bookshelf was non-negotiable:

Hm... well, except for the addition of the Chicago Bears Checkers game...

1 comment:

The Singlutionary said...

i LOVE THAT! Awesome! Hilarious! We all need our own bookshelves in life.

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