Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
My favorite books change and stay the same. I can't quite pinpoint one.
After Lucy died, I definitely felt a strong connection to Elizabeth McCracken's Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination. She is an amazing writer, and after I finished that book, I went on and devoured all her other books--the Giant's House (amazing) and Niagara Falls All Over Again (funny, lots of dead babies) and her collection of short stories Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry. And then found out the friend she refers to is Ann Pachett, whose Bel Canto was such an amazing read, it was easy for me to go on and devour her books too, which I did. That is what I do, I suppose, and if I were a Japanese Super Monster, I would be GodBookDevourerRa or something. I basically plow through authors, and then wallow and mourn the end of their books. It is like getting dumped by a really great boyfriend. You can't help but compare the next one to him, even if they are halfway decent, they still aren't as good as your last book.
Funnily, until writing this right now, if you had asked me what I read after Lucy died, I would have said crap, except Exact Replica. But none of those books by EMac or APatch (they have automatic Rap Names when they get mentioned on Still Life) were crap. Not a stinker in the bunch, in fact, I loved all of them. And it was even hard for me to discern which I liked best, because, while they were all uniquely their own, they all touched something in me, like nostalgia for a time I didn't live, or love for a character...Anyway, I think I read crap, because the crap is what I talked about with others more often than not. Because for Christmas, Sam bought me Twilight, thinking I would like mindless reading, and I did. I did like it at the time. She really did an amazing job of putting you into the mindset of being a teenage girl again, all weedy and weird and obsessing over the hot guy. I giggled in bed when I was reading it. My breasts were still engorged and leaking horribly sad milk, and I actually fucking giggled like a little teenage girl who a vampire just checked out.
So there is that.
But I now loathe the series, because I think it is so anti-feminist and anti-woman, and wish that teenage girls would not read it, or if they read it, stop at the third book. The fourth book destroys all semblance of the world she created in the first three. See, there are literary affronts for which Stephenie Meyer will never make right no matter how many Oprah shows she does and how much money she gives to needy folk. I love when I read a book where the author creates a world with laws and physics and supernatural crap. I will suspend my disbelief for you. I won't poke holes in your universe. If you tell me it rains spaghetti, I will play along, but don't just start making it rain spaghetti from Earth to cloud in the fourth book because unbeknownst to your readers, you follow and upside down spaghetti religion. Stephenie Meyers just fucking DESTROYED her universe in the fourth book. She spit on it, danced about, kicked it in your face. She flaunted her god-like author powers, and it ruins everything she has ever written. She creates laws of this Twilight universe, then breaks them. Okay, vampires exist. And so do shapeshifting Indian tribes. I get it. I am with you, Stephenie Meyers. Cute. When you reaffirm over and over again that the vampires are dead people, I get it. They must drink the blood of humans to continue walking the earth. They crave blood because they are dead. Without life. No living cells. No pulse. No actual human-like characteristics besides being perfect predators to feast on the blood of living people. And there is a spoiler coming up so SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH if you aren't interested in having me spoil your fun.............................Stephenie Meyer, if you want me to believe that Edward Cullen and all his people are dead, do not make his sperm live. That, to me, is like an upside down spaghetti storm. The thing is, the living sperm is for a religious agenda that seems unnecessary in a book already about vampires. Make up your own mind, but you know, I disapprove of Book Four so much that I cannot abide by any of it anymore. All that being said, they are truly terribly written to begin with. I think that is why it reminds me of being a teenager, because I also wrote terribly when I was a teenager.
So, I read the Twilight series, then I read all of the Harry Potter books in a row for the first time ever. (I know, GAWD, I AM SO LAME AND BEHIND.) But they were awesomely magnificent, and that is part of the reason Twilight and other series books bug the shit out of me. JK Rowling really knew what was happening at every turn. She is the Goddess of that universe. She is Fate. She is Physics. She is the Puppetmaster. And nothing breaks stride. It was amazing, even with the elves. I then read the Sookie Stackhouse series. All of them. In a row. They were so much fun. Not particularly well-written, but great sex scenes, and I like her universe a great deal. About or around Book Seven, to juxtapose with Harry Potter, I actually put the book down and said, "She is making this up as she goes along."
Anyway, so, yeah, pretty crappy entertaining books. It helped me, though, to be less pretentious about books, and less, uh, judging of series and people who read them. They have been a hoot, and my sister keeps poking me to read fantasy and more elf-y books, and sometimes I think I might. I just want to be entertained. I don't need my mind expanded every book. Mindless drivel has its place. Lucy's death taught me that amongst other wiser insights.
But my favorite top five books before Lucy died are: Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson, Independent People by Halldor Laxness, The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham and Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and as I press publish, I will think of fifteen more of my favorites. I did reread The End of the Affair and the Painted Veil after Lucia died and they both were so different and also absolutely maintained their standing on the top five list.