Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scary Funny

If I were strictly following the format of our blog, this would be my follow up post on scary books in honor of Halloween. Except I don’t read scary books. They, um, scare me. As Elizabeth so eloquently pointed out, horror should inspire you to double check your locks. It inspires me to double check my locks, look in every closet, under the bed, in the shower, turn off all the lights so I can see if anyone is lurking outside the window, and then check the locks again. I find this to be rather time consuming, thus I avoid scary books.

Instead, let’s talk about The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer. In keeping with the Halloween theme it has a villain. And people in costume/disguise. And it’s scary how funny it is. (Yes, I'll be here all week people.)

For the uninitiated, Georgette Heyer is the Grande Dame of Regency romance. Do not let the romance label deter you (not that it should in general, but especially not for Heyer). Michael Dirda, the Pulitzer-prize winning book critic for
The Washington Post, writes directly to possible nay-sayers in Classics for Pleasure, “What truly matters, though, is that Georgette Heyer remains as witty as any writer of the past century, as accomplished as P.G. Wodehouse in working out complex plots, and as accurate as a professional historian in getting her background details right.” (p. 85)

Speaking of complex plots,
The Talisman Ring has a doozy. It starts out simply with a death and an arranged marriage. Sylvester, Baron Lavenham is on his deathbed and makes his nephew, Sir Tristram Shield, promise to marry his granddaughter, the lovely Eustacie de Vauban. Standard fare, right? Except Sir Tristram is hopelessly pragmatic and Eustacie is…well, she's wildly romantic and a wee bit impractical. She longs for adventure and hasn't quite gotten over the indignity of being rescued from the Terror (i.e. the guillotine) by her grandfather before she could effect a thrilling escape.

What starts off as a book about two mismatched people bound to marry each other quickly explodes into a farce, complete with cross-dressing, smugglers, a Priest’s hole, a weaselly valet, Bow Street Runners, and a villain who arrives to perform misdeeds wearing, in all seriousness, a loo mask.

And let me relieve your mind. Heyer doesn’t make Eustacie become sensible or Sir Tristram grow to appreciate her tumultuous approach to life. She fully acknowledges that they’d drive each other to madness in hours (possibly less) and introduces two other lead characters. It’s all a bit Shakespearean and it works beautifully.

Especially as one of the lead characters is Miss Sarah Thane.
Miss Thane has all of Eustacie’s enthusiasm for adventure wrapped up in a ruthless practicality that alarms even the phlegmatic Sir Tristram. Here's a quick excerpt from when they meet at an inn (Miss Thane having taken the fleeing Eustacie under her wing after she fell in with smugglers) and are arranging a cover story:
"...unfortunately, you, Sir Tristram, knowing nothing of me, and being possessed of a tyrannical disposition - I beg your pardon?'

"I did not speak," replied Sir Tristram, eying her frostily.

Miss Thane met his look with one of limpid innocence. "Oh, I quite thought you did!"

"I choked," explained Sir Tristram. "Pray continue! You had reached my tyrannical disposition." (p. 87)
And so they go - their dry wit coupled with Eustacie's flights of fancy, thrown together with some truly bumbling Bow Street Runners makes me laugh until I cry every time I read it. Even when I'm on a bus surrounded by hipsters, who are looking in horror at me and the cover.

Speaking of the cover, it, like the plot, is a doozy. Thanks to Sourcebooks reissue of Georgette Heyer’s complete works, today's sheltered readers can pick up vaguely respectable looking copies of The Talisman Ring with no trouble at all. By starting to read Heyer few years earlier, I had to scour used bookstore shelves to find her books. And to find the gem that is
The Talisman Ring I had to get past a lurid 70s cover AND the most wildly inaccurate jacket text that I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. It mentions neither Miss Thane or Sir Tristram and instead talks about "the dark forest" and "a maelstrom of terror, deceit..." That book actually sounds perfect for a Halloween post, but it has nothing at all to do with The Talisman Ring.

Books you should read if you liked The Talisman Ring:

The Corinthian. Another one of Heyer's perfect light comedies, featuring a heroine who escapes from her miserable family by climbing out her bedroom window and setting off in search of adventure (oh she has a theoretical plan, but what's she's really looking for is adventure). However, I refuse to tell you any more about it because I'm planning on posting on it later. Just read it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Few Frightening Titles in Honor of Halloween

It's almost Halloween! Which may be my favorite holiday. Most of the population dressing in bizarre costumes while handing out candy? Best holiday ever.

I love watching cheesy horror movies. These movies (almost) never scare me, so I decided that I should branch out and read horror fiction. My reading tastes don't naturally gravitate towards horror, but I felt that I should give the genre a chance. It turns out that horror fiction is infinitely more frightening than zombie flicks or "Sleepwalkers" (although "Sleepwalkers" does involve incestuous cat-people and an incredibly bad Stephen King cameo). I've always felt that reading is a more personal experience than watching a movie, as a reader brings all his or her collected experiences to the text and enriches it. When you watch a horror movie, you're watching the director's idea of what is frightening; when you read a horror novel, your imagination embellishes the author's story in untold ways. These untold ways usually involve me triple-checking my window locks and getting paranoid when I hear a suspicious (read: completely normal) sound outside my apartment.

If you too would like to start triple-checking your window locks, read one of these deliciously scary novels:

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac
I adore Joseph Bruchac. His books for children generally contain Native American themes and he never talks down to his audience, something I really appreciate in children's literature. Skeleton Man begins with Molly waking up to find her loving parents gone. When they don't return, a mysterious, very thin older man appears claiming to be Molly's great uncle. He takes her home, where she is locked in her room after she returns from school every day. As Molly becomes more and more despondent, she comforts herself with traditional Native American tales, which she relies upon to guide her to the truth about the disappearance of her parents and her eerie "great-uncle." Bruchac's story is never obvious; you know the great-uncle is up to something shady, but the end is completely unexpected. I read this book in a hotel room and got up to check the door lock twice--and this book is meant for eight-to-thirteen-year-olds. Apparently kids are hardier nowadays. James and the Giant Peach freaked me out when I was ten, let alone tales of kidnapping and missing parents.

Skeleton Man
is the perfect read for newcomers to the the horror genre. Frightening, but not nightmare-inducing.


I love Neil Gaiman. I know not everyone feels similarly, especially since some of Mr. Gaiman's more recent adult fiction hasn't been up to par, but his children's fiction is excellent. It's obvious that Gaiman truly understands children and how their imaginations can be wild, tumultuous places where an everyday event can be nightmarish. (It's also possible that I might have just been an extremely wimpy kid, as shown by my fear of James and the Giant Peach.)

Gaiman's Coraline is a fabulous example of his sparse yet affecting writing style (he's like the Kazuo Ishiguro of children's literature). Coraline moves with her busy, distracted parents to a new home. She's largely expected to entertain herself, which leads to disastrous results. During one of her explorations, she discovers her "other" home. At first this "other" home seems remarkably similar to Coraline's home, only better. There is delicious food and "other" children and "other" parents. . .who desperately want her to stay with them.

This book is creepy. I cannot describe it more eloquently than that-except to mention that the "other" people have buttons as eyes. Buttons as eyes. Just thinking about it give me the shivers. Read this book immediately! The film adaptation is very well-done, as well.

If you like Coraline, check out Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which just won the Newbery Medal. It's also a fantastic read.

If you're interested in young adult horror, stick with Lois Duncan. I scared the hell out of myself reading her books as a thirteen-year-old.

John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things is the perfect transition from children's to adult horror, as it chronicles a young boy's coming of age. Connolly normally writes crime fiction, so The Book of Lost Things is a bit of departure from the norm for him. When twelve-year-old David's mother dies during WWII, he relies on books for comfort and consolation. The line between reality and fantasy slowly beings to blur, until David finds himself in a land of violent fairy and folk tales, pursued by the Crooked Man. . .

The Book of Lost Things perfectly captures the horror of fantasy come to life. At the heart of the novel is a hero's quest to become an adult and overcome grief. David's progression through trials and tribulations is engaging yet tinged with sadness and triumph. There is also a nifty compilation of fairy tales at the end of the book.
Speaking of disturbing and violent fairy tales, one of my favorite authors, Angela Carter, is the creme de la creme of the dark fairy tale genre. If you haven't read her, immediately do so. She is amazing. Start with Heroes and Villains, a post-apocalyptic tale. After the apocalypse, society is divided into three factions: the Professors and Soldiers, the Barbarians, and the Out People. The Out People attack the Barbarians as the Barbarians attack the Professors and Soldiers. Marianne is captured during one of the Barbarians' raids. She is meant as a prize for the Barbarian Jewel. While this seems at first to be heading into some moderately cheesy science fiction territory, what follows is a bizarre, dangerous love story told in lush language peppered with disturbing imagery. I honestly cannot do Angela Carter justice. Her voice is incredibly unique and she defies a specific genre.

Hopefully one of these titles will inspire you to check your door locks. After finishing Skeleton Man or The Book of Lost Things you might even have to watch a Disney movie, which is my steadfast cure for reading something a tad too scary. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bonfires and Brainwashing and Sacrifies, Oh My!

Kerry covered Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard so well in her previous post that I struggled with something new to say about it--and sadly, I don't know much about old Pagan Britain or the environmental messages within the book (sorry, Kerry!). However, I do know that I love this book so much that I have an extra copy of it in my car.

That's right, in my car.

This is obviously the first of many nerdy revelations on my part. Seriously, though, The Perilous Gard is just that good. It was a 1975 Newbery Honor book and received glowing reviews upon its publication. The New York Times' Karla Ruskin describes Pope's ability to "treat the magic of her story with subtlety and intelligence [ . . .Pope] illustrates how events may be shifted and shaped into myth. When she is done we understand that what we call magic may be the reality of another life from a distant age altered by time and telling."*

Hopefully The Perilous Gard doesn't too closely follow the reality of another life from a distant age, as the Fairy Folk are big into human sacrifice and hoodwinking sick pilgrims. The dark elements of this book are what makes it so engaging; Pope manages to avoid stereotyping the Fairy Folk as a creepy people who live underground and regard humans as little more than prey (which they do to some degree), but instead as a dying group whose way of life is on the brink of extinction.

Pope's heroine, the awkward, lovable Kate Sutton, acknowledges the complexity of her experience with the Fairy Folk. Ins
tead of rejecting her time spent as a captive, she chooses to take what she can from the experience. When the Lady comes to her at the very end of the novel, Kate's final words to her are as follows: "Do you think I learned nothing from the time I spent in your land, when you let me live as you do?" Kate's ability to overcome a justifiable hatred toward the Fairy Folk--they did kidnap her and brainwash her friend Christopher--was incredibly affecting when I read this book as a ten-year-old. It was one of the first times I realized that nothing can be painted in black and white. Also, it has romance, adventure, ballads, self-sacrifice, incredibly ditzy sisters who write ill-considered letters to Queen Mary, kidnapping, bonfires, and more! How can you resist?

*The Perilous Gard, Karla Ruskin. New York Times (1857-current file); Sept. 15, 1974. ___________________________________________________________________
You can resist reading The Sherwood Ring, which is the only other book Pope wrote. When I first discovered this book I was ecstatic--a colonial American ghost story? Awesome. Unfortunately, The Sherwood Ring, while occasionally funny and peppered with historical tidbits, is no Perilous Gard. For example, the "declaration of love" scene involves the hero, British historian Pat, fondly telling the heroine, orphaned Peggy Grahame, to pay attention to a beautiful view because "you're not going to get a view like that when you're darning a basketful of socks somewhere behind the red brick university." Oh, the romance.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tudor Awesomeness - The Perilous Gard

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. Kate Sutton is a lady in waiting to Princess Elizabeth at Hatfield when her flighty younger sister Alicia writes an ill-considered letter to Queen Mary. The letter enrages Mary and gets Kate exiled to the Perilous Gard, a remote castle owned by Sir Geoffrey Heron. That’s right Kate – not Alicia. Life in Tudor England? Not fair.

Our intrepid heroine is sent away to a remote location with only her host/jailer, Sir Geoffrey, his sullen younger brother Christopher, and a traveling minstrel named Randal to keep her company. At the Gard there are servants that she's pretty sure she can't trust (either because they seem totally shady or completely bird-witted). She’s physically isolated due to the remote location of the Gard and her banishment means she can't leave, no matter what happens. And of course there's the mysterious death of Sir Geoffrey's daughter Cecily. No one talks about it, but Christopher has shouldered the blame, and it makes the whole castle very tense. It’s only now when re-reading that I realized The Perilous Gard is actually a gothic novel in Newbery-winning disguise.

Being of an inquiring turn of mind (and really, she's stranded in the middle of a forest called the Elvenwood with nothing else to do), Kate sets out to discover the truth. What follows is a spin on the ballad of Tam Lin, which pits awkward, gangly Kate against the Lady, Queen of the Fairy Folk who live under the hill in a battle for Christopher's life.

Can I tell you how much I love this book? So much. Kate is prickly and ungraceful, but she’s also trenchantly funny and unwilling to give up in the face of what should be insurmountable obstacles. Her adventures as a serving girl under the hill (she's not a very good sneak and gets caught quite quickly) are some of my favorite part of the book. Kate is brought face to face with the Lady and with Christopher. Their interactions form the central conflict of the book, as Kate struggles to find a way out of their imprisonment, but also finds herself learning from the Lady and building a close friendship with Christopher.

*Major Spoilers* The final scene in the book – when Kate is confronted by the Lady still makes me a little sick to my stomach. It’s that good. The Lady, always a complicated thinker, offers to Kate magic to make Christopher love her (Kate's convinced that Christopher is in love with her sister Alicia and is at that moment literally standing in the cold, watching them together through a window, and despairing). Kate rejects the offer. Not because she doesn’t want what the Lady is offering with every fiber of her being, but because she knows the inauthenticity involved would poison the rest of her life. Her clear-sightedness allows her to escape the final trap laid for her by the Lady and emerge victorious in a meaningful way. Seriously, it's amazing. You should read it.

Random note: The Perilous Gard was my first introduction to the idea of Elizabeth Ex Machina (yes, I coined this phrase myself; no, I don't believe it's proper Latin). Is it just me or do half the novels set in Tudor England reach some dire point where no positive resolution seems possible, at which moment Queen Mary dies, Elizabeth ascends the throne, and all problems are suddenly solved? The lady was veeery busy in her first few days on the throne.

Ugh, I have gone on for far too long and I haven't even touched on the interesting thematic exploration of the disappearance of old pagan Britain and the possible environmental messages! I will leave that up to Elizabeth - I'm sure she'll be thrilled.


Books to try if you loved The Perilous Gard:

Dorothy Dunnett's The Lymond Chronicles. Six hulking books with tiny print and untranslated allusions in at least five languages. What on earth could they have to do with the simplicity and charm of The Perilous Gard? A lot! I swear! These books evoke the heady intellectualism and political maneuvering that characterize the Tudor period like none other. And the anti-hero at the center of it all, Francis Crawford, keeps things interesting even when you want to kick him across Scotland. Not for the faint of heart or easily bored, but definitely worth trying if you like historical fiction. The series starts with The Game of Kings.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Airhead redux

Here’s the thing. Unlike Elizabeth, I adore Meg Cabot. I love her stand-alone books like Teen Idol, Avalon High, and Jinx. I love her chick lit like The Boy Next Door. And I love her blog. So I’m a bona fide fangirl. And yet, despite all my predisposition towards anything by Cabot, I HATED Airhead. Hated it. I didn't manage to make it to the end of the book (which isn't very long to begin with) and can't imagine picking up the next book in the series.

*Spoilers* Elizabeth outlined the plot below, and that pretty much sums up my problems with the book. I just kept thinking, really? REALLY? This is patently ridiculous. I usually adore sci-fi and fantasy and am willing to suspend my disbelief for the flimsiest of premises. However, Airhead's plot holes made me want to toss it right at one of my pristine, newly painted walls.

It didn't help that while Em has some traditional Cabot heroine traits (great sense of humor, idealistic, a bit disaffected), she's also kind of...annoying. Maybe if I'd met her in a novel when her brain hadn't been transplanted into the body of a supermodel, we would have hit it off better. The point when I started mentally saying, "Dude, clearly there's been some sort of brain surgery shenanigans, but could you just get over yourself, stop whining, and take charge?" was the point when I decided my time was better spent elsewhere.


Books you should read instead of Airhead:

Teen Idol. Set in Cabot's native Indiana, this book takes a fluffy-sounding premise (teen movie star attends small town high school to prep for a movie role!) turns it into a story about listening to yourself, doing what's right, and paying attention to what's right under your nose. God, why do I make everything sound like an after-school special? I was never even allowed to watch them growing up!

Basically, Teen Idol's sweet, funny, and a little snarky, much like Cabot's writing style. The heroine, Jenny, is a down-to-earth problem solver, who is genuinely nice, but also nobody's fool. She manages to keep a level head as her fellow students (including her best friend) implode with the excitement of having a genuine celebrity in their midst. Plus, years before Glee started winning hearts and minds, Teen Idol features a significant show choir sub-plot. And that my friends? Is made of win.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ironically, I immediately followed up
The Disreputable History with Meg Cabot's Airhead. (I'll get to the ironic part in a minute--besides the title, of course.) I've heard lots about Meg Cabot--everyone loves The Princess Diaries series, and I have to admit I did see the movie, mainly because I have a girl-crush on Anne Hathaway--but I've always thought that her books looked a little, well, boring. The Princess Diaries series was frothy and fun, but nothing else of Cabot's really interests me. However, based on interviews and her web page, Meg Cabot seems pretty cool and I felt like she deserved a second chance. Thus, my Airhead adventure.

First of all,
Airhead is indeed boring. I was right. (Who doesn't love saying that?) If you don't believe me after this review, read it immediately and please tell me how horribly wrong I am.

I was
initially put off by the title, but it was the only Meg Cabot book checked in at the library, so voila, Airhead it was. Also I feel like the girl on the cover is Kate Bosworth but Kate Bosworth probably doesn't need supplementary gigs as a book-cover model. Anyhow, Airhead is about a slightly nerdy, average-looking girl (Em) who is involved in a freak accident along with a famous supermodel (Nikki). But wait! Em wakes Nikki's body. Did you know that brain transplants are commonplace for the rich, the famous, and corporations avoiding multi-million dollar lawsuits? I sure did. The rest of the book chronicles Em's trials and tribulations as she settles into the supermodel lifestyle (in an truly absurd plot twist, Em is required to fulfill Nikki's modeling contracts). Cabot's prose is engaging and Em is easy to relate to, but the premise is so ridiculous that I had a hard time relating to the characters at all. Also, the irony of reading a fabulous feminist-themed books such as The Disreputable History and then jumping into a supermodel brain-transplant plot was not lost on me. I haven't given up on Meg Cabot, but for now, pass on Em and stick with Frankie, kids.

Books you should read instead of Airhead:

Maureen Johnson--her books are intelligent chick lit. Her characters are generally thoughtful and very well-realized. Also, her web page is really pretty. Yes, I am swayed by such things as web page prettiness.

My Johnson favorites are Devilish and The Bermudez Triangle. In Devilish, high school senior Jane has to save her best friend Ally's soul. Ally, it seems, has sold her soul to a local demon without quite realizing the consequences of dealing with the devil. High school is hell after all! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

The Bermudez Triangle
deals with more realistic topics (I was going to say "serious" topics but selling your soul to a demon is pretty darn serious). When Nina leaves her best friends Avery and Mel (the three girls compose the titular triangle) the summer before her senior year to attend a "pre-college" camp, she comes home to find that Avery and Mel are now a couple. Johnson details the intricacies of friendships, sexuality, first relationships, and family so well and with great candor and sensitivity. A must-read.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Frankie, Take Two

I am so glad Elizabeth decided to start off our blog with the inimitable Ms. Landau-Banks. It's very appropriate as The Disreputable History is one of the first books she recommended to me, and the one that made me realize that I had found someone who completely got the indefinable things I adore about books.

So. Frankie. I am full of regret that this book wasn't published when I was in high school. Because E. Lockhart takes on some themes and ideas that I didn't start thinking about until after college. Ones that I still haven't figured out entirely. Namely, how girls sometimes submerge or undermine their true selves when trying to fit in with a guy (especially if he might be the guy) or a group of guys without even realizing what they are doing to themselves.

I think she also nails a pretty elusive idea - that feeling of a girl belonging to a select fraternity (the brotherhood kind, not the beer chugging buddies, though they're not mutually exclusive). And the feeling that you are somehow superior to other girls because you can hang with the boys. Don't get me wrong - I have friendships with guys from way back when that I cherish, but in the hormone-heightened world of college (or a posh co-ed boarding school like the one Frankie attends) it takes a while to figure out how to relate to the opposite sex in a way that allows you to stay true to yourself. And how to do it in a world that starts out with some significant societal advantages on one side of the table.

However, I'm making The Disreputable History sound pretty dreary and after-school-specialy and it's anything but that. It's a boarding school story! About a secret society! It has a heroine who has true evil genius potential. Who is willing to take on the system out of a combination of moral indignation, pique, and sheer rabble-rousing instincts. And despite a few qualms along the way, Frankie has fun, and I had immense fun reading about her, as she throws everything around her into chaos in the name of fairness and gender equity.

Frankie is not at all dreary. It's funny and accessible and righteous, in every meaning of the word.

I would love to be able to offer suggestions for books you'd enjoy if you liked this book, but seriously? The Secret History and Special Topics in Calamity Physics are so spot on, I'm not even going to try. You should read them both. Now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Feminist Awakening of a Criminal Mastermind

Elizabeth's Take

Since Kerry mentioned sharing our love of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks in her excellent blog introduction (gracias, Kerry!), I felt obliged to write my first post about my Serious and Everlasting love of Ms. Landau-Banks. Onward!

E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks had been in my library queue for what felt like forever before it finally arrived at my local library branch, but it was definitely worth the wait. The Disreputable History is a Printz Honor Book (Printz books = pretty much always awesome) and a feminist manifesto. Frankie herself is my new hero, even if she is a fictional teenage girl (sorry, young woman). I wish I had been her in high school, and I want her to be real and an adult so that we can be best pals. Frankie's realization of the gender inequalities present in her day to-day life is subtle and insidiously affecting--Lockhart's description of the sexism inherent in an everyday conversation between a teenage couple is especially powerful. I felt as if Lockhart pulled back a curtain on the gender roles and stereotypes still so present in our society. Plus, Frankie is a kick-ass criminal mastermind. Don't mess with her, and definitely respect her. I had a friend say that she wanted to give The Disreputable History to every teenage girl she knew, which I agree with--but I think it should be given it to every teenager you know.

Books I absolutely, positively guarantee you'll enjoy if you liked The Disreputable History:

Donna Tartt's The Secret History Do you enjoy pretentious yet somehow appealing narrators? Over-privileged undergraduates? Drug-induced Bacchanalian rites in the woods near the university for said over-privileged undergraduates? And last but certainly not least, a murder mystery and a love quadrangle? Run to the bookstore or library ASAP to pick up Tartt's novel.

Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics I can easily see Pessl's Blue van Meer and Lockhart's Frankie L-B being BFFs (that's right; for-ev-er, The Sandlot style. If you don't understand this reference I pity you. Watch The Sandlot immediately.). Both are incredibly intelligent young women searching for answers. Blue's search is, however, fraught with more danger and suspense, as well as some of the most involved footnotes recently published. Challenging yet enjoyable, my favorite combination.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Off to a start...of sorts

So when Elizabeth and I started talking about starting a blog about books, I was pleased as punch. A chance to talk more about books! Now perhaps we'd stop scaring our friends by shrieking every time we got together because we'd just finished the same book and 1) were so excited someone else had read it 2) totally hated it and needed to vent (*cough* Breaking Dawn) or 3) completely adored it and needed to share the love (hi Frankie Landau-Banks!). What could possibly be more exciting?

And then I realized...we'd have to pick a book to write about first. Sophie's choice has nothing on it (um, kidding, clearly). But really. How to choose? Jellicoe Road? Ellen Emerson White? Georgette Heyer's complete works? Would this choice set the tone for the entire blog? Should the first book be an old favorite or something we'd read recently. Something obscure? Popular? Controversial? My poor little brain just overloaded with the possibilities.

In case you didn't see where this is heading, I couldn't chose. Total fail in the decision-making department. So I made Elizabeth do it. And her first post will be coming right up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

About BookMates

Let's see here...more info. One of us has professional qualifications in terms of selecting and recommending books to others. And one of us wrote her college personal statement on the influence Jo March, Eowyn, and Anne Shirley had on her life. We both have endless experience in pressing books on friends and/or strangers, bookshelves filled to the bursting point, and an insatiable desire to talk about whatever we've just finished.

Writers we mutually adore and thus will probably cover at one point or another: Melina Marchetta, David Mitchell, Georgette Heyer, and Ellen Emerson White. We're reading omnivores, with a definite young adult bent. Feel free to email us suggestions at bookmatesblog at gmail dot com.

BookMates is a Powell's Partner blog. If you click from here to Powell's (best bookstore in the world!) and buy something, we receive a small percentage of the purchase price.