Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three From My Bookshelf and One From My Phone

Some recommendations!

If you'd like to read a stupendous contemporary YA book about power in general, and power plays between the sexes in particular, try E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Wow, this book got me thinking about my own relation to power. It's a cast of fascinating characters whose stage is the prestigious Alabaster Preparatory Academy, a made-up boarding school in northern Massachusetts. But: if, as you consider the book's feminist underpinnings, you also find yourself inappropriately falling for a boy who's technically a creep -- don't blame me!

If you love British literature through the ages, and also time travel and general silliness; and if, like me, you think Jasper Fforde has the coolest name ever; read his novel The Eyre Affair, which reminds us that "the barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think." I'm just over halfway through, and enjoying it thoroughly. The protagonist, named Thursday Next, is a detective of literary crime in a modern-day world that will surprise you over and over and have you hooting with laughter. And if you do love British literature through the ages, you'll find that you've already met some of the characters walking through the pages of Fforde's book...

If you want something long, GORGEOUS, and Scandinavian, go for Kristin Lavransdatter, by the Nobel Prize-winning Sigrid Undset. This book is in my top ten: 1124 pages of breathtaking, passionate, beautiful, epic wonderfulness. (As long as you have patience for a little Christian moralizing -- it takes place in Norway in the 1300s, and God is definitely on people's minds.) It was written in the 1920s and translated beautifully by Tiina Nunnally in 2000. NOTE: get the Nunnally translation, not the earlier translation by two stuffy guys. According to the reviews I've read, this is important!

If none of those suggestions are up your alley, then you're just gonna have to settle for this series of text messages between me and Cordelia (my sister, to the uninitiated). The only context you need is that we live together, I was away for a week, I'm in love with my computer, and Cordelia is in love with her gym.

Kristin to Cordelia:
BTW, m coming home tomorrow. Hope u remodeled apt to my specifications.

Cordelia to Kristin:
Repairman says lemon juice and time should remove maple syrup from your computer interior.

Again, Cordelia to Kristin:
Nice flat surface worked well as griddle.

Kristin to Cordelia:
Great! Repairman says damage to yr gym, which I firebombed today, irreparable.

Cordelia to Kristin:
Judge says he can cut your sentence down to 18 years hard time if I keep feeding him these delicious flapjacks.

Kristin to Cordelia:
Gym director says he'll b by l8r 2 shove remains of elliptical machine up your ass.


~THE END~



2 comments:

Amanda said...

i'm glad you're enjoying the fforde books! how could you NOT like them? i forget when miss havisham shows up in the book, but i do love her so much.

kristin cashore said...

Amanda, she didn't show up in this one, so I guess I'm just going to have to keep reading them! :o)