Me: “Babe, what are you doing?”
J: “Practicing my Tibetan throat singing.”
Sometimes people say things that you just have to write down.
On the same topic (not at all), I’ve just realized that this blog was started for the purpose of writing about what I’m reading, and something I’ve written about not at all lately is what I’m reading.
(You might be surprised to learn that I’m an editor extraordinaire by day. But this is 10:37 pm! Which is most certainly not by day. (That was an excuseplanation (yup, excuse + explanation, it’s fine, just move on) for the previous (and hideous) sentence.))
So, tra-la-la! BOOKS.
Here are some highlights from the past few months of Lisa’s Bookshelf:
Are You My Mother? – Alison Bechdel
I hate to say it, but I agree with the reviews. (I’m kind of obsessed with reading book reviews.) (Especially the Guardian‘s.) Not really a sequel to Fun Home so much as a meditation on writing and psychoanalysis–and sometimes just a bunch of long quotes from what Bechdel was reading. Beautiful artwork, but nowhere near as entertaining and innovative as Fun Home, which is definitely one of my Top Five Favorite Graphic Novels.
Peter Pan – Jim Barrie (unabridged audiobook, read by Jim Dale)
OMG Jim Dale. (Who also reads the Harry Potter audiobooks.) (Further OMG.) I might be biased because I once-upon-a-time wanted to be Peter Pan when I grew up. Still, this is a completely enthralling classic. From an adult perspective, it can also be pretty disturbing–such as the part where Mrs. Darling tucks her children in at night and lovingly re-arranges their minds:
Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children’s minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
Now, isn’t that kind of, like, 1984?? I’m just sayin’.
Medicine Road – Charles de Lint
Not perhaps the most satisfying plot ever, but I fell in love with these characters and the American Indian folklore world they live in. And, come to think of it, that’s really all I ask of a work of fiction: Not a great plot twist or a great ending, just a place I can escape to in my imagination, filled with people I wish I could meet in real life. Charles de Lint never fails at that.
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
People have been hyping this one up for me for so many years now that I was almost (almost) disappointed. It was just, ya know, Gaiman. Being amazing. It’s what he does. Anyone else think this would make a beautiful graphic novel? Has it ever happened?? The Internet could not tell me.
Caddy’s World – Hilary McKay
My sister brought this back for me all the way from London and I managed to save it for eight months before om-nom-nom-ing it up (washed down with a cuppa tea, of course) all in one day. The delicious prequel to one of my favorite YA series (Saffy’s Angel and sequels, previously gushed about here and here). And now I have gotten distracted by the announcement on Hilary McKay’s website saying that she has written a sequel to The Little Princess.
http://www.dclibrary.org, she types as fast as possible, hoping she remembered to save the draft of her blog post before navigating away from the pa