Friday, January 29th, 2010
J.D. Salinger was one of those people I really liked having alive. He was of course a hermit up in New Hampshire for the last 40 or so years, but I was always hoping that one day he would just show up on TV and blab about everything we wanted to know. Why did he prey on young Yalies? Is it true he wrote everyday? What about that whole “diet regimen built around vegetables and ground lamb cooked at very low temperatures?” What did he have to say about that?
In this era where a celeb sneezes and it’s blogged about by millions, it just seems like the oddest thing in the world to hide from your well-deserved limelight. But J.D. did it, Thomas Pynchon’s doing it, and I’m sure a slew of others will follow. Still, even if we never saw him, heard from him, or read a single word he wrote after the mid-60s, I still liked having him around.
I remember of course reading “Catcher in the Rye” in high school, but I was always a bigger fan of Nine Stories, in particular, “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor.” It’s hard to write a perfect story with so few words, but I suppose that was J.D.’s forte.
In my odd state of sadness and surprise today, I came across a tribute by Richard Lacayo in TIME. Lacayo is my favorite TIME scribbler, covering mostly art and architecture. But he also did a damn good job paying homage to a man we know very little about. He helped me remember that J.D. loved to drop out of school, slaughtered pigs in Bydgoszcz, saw the worst of WWII, almost didn’t have his f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact, and really was a hell of a writer. R.I.P, J.D.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
I guess I’ve always liked to read smut. As a kid, I remember riding my bike with my friend Katie up to Little Professor Book Store in the West Erie Plaza. We’d scour the Young Adult section looking for the newest Christopher Pike book and then shell out $4.50 of our hard earned babysitting money to buy every single CP book that came into existence.
The plots? Pretty much every story involved a murder and then lots of teen sex. Funny, because I’ll never forget reading my first Christopher Pike — it was in third grade. Who needs “Dick and Jane” when you have rich kids from California that drive Ferraris and have sex in their mansions (and they were their OWN mansions because all the characters’ parents were conveniently dead).
What a great incentive to read! School systems, take note! Need to bait kids into literacy? How about incorporating sex, murder, and money into the curriculum? Your 9-year-olds will be reading on a 12th grade level in no time!
Here's a small bit of my Christopher Pike collection. Don't let the covers fool you -- there is some seriously enticing smut in there! I reread a few a couple years ago -- crazy they are "kid" books!
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
As a stay-at-home mom, my days are pretty staid. Though I’d never trade it for anything, sometimes cleaning the food scraps from Ollie’s high chair for the tenth time of the day or reading Where is Baby’s Belly Button? yet again can get a tad monotonous. But Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series changes all that. If I crack one of her books during Ollie’s nap time — I am literally sucked into a footloose and fancy free world of sexy vamps. Vamps who certainly aren’t dealing with issues like pee soaked crib mattresses or whether or not to give up the pacifier.
You’ve probably heard of or seen “True Blood” on HBO. And if you haven’t — OMG — rent it from Netflix immediately and get ready for a marathon of soft vampire porn. It’s so addictive! Well, the books that the series is based upon are just as great! As my book club members would catalogue it, Harris’ novels fall into the “fantasy porn” genre (we also seem to gravitate to “historical porn” like The Other Boleyn Girl but that’s another story). In these books, Sookie the Louisiana waitress has all sorts of crazy wild sex with blood sucking vamps. And as much as I loved the Twilight series, this is waaaay better because the characters have no morals and actually do it.
Eric, from "True Blood": he's like the Fabio of our generation. (If you're like me and annoyed the next season of TB doesn't start until June -- read the books! You will be obsessed!)