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Books That Stare Me Down


Recently I have made my way back into the library, which I have abandoned for a long time, for books that always stare me down at the bookstores but that I never get to read. These are books that I’m not sure if I like and that I don’t want to buy right away. You can say they serve as fillers between serious literature. So of the books in this category I have read so far this year are: The Chosen, The Jungle, Rosemary’s Baby, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Siddhatha, Lord of the Flies, The Magic Mountain and of course, the biggest achievement of the year, Swann’s Way. I ended up buying some of these books after perusing a few chapters of the library’s copies.

The latest in this category is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. (Yes, another chick-lit, some of you think the recent The Moment of Everything is chick-lit). The book follows the lives of Caitlyn Somers and Victoria Leonard, two unlikely girls from different social backgrounds. Caitlin invites Victoria to stay the summer with her and her father who lives in Martha’s Vineyard; shy Victoria can’t imagine why a girl so glamorous as Caitlin would want to be friend someone as boring as herself. The two of them form a complex friendship of love and rivalry that spans from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Blume really captures that unique bondage of girls on the threshold of adolescence—their adventures and they ways of perceiving and understanding the society. Their escapades can be hilarious, shocking, jaw-dropping, and touching. I enjoy their sharp-tongued banterings. Am I the only guy who is reading this?


2 Responses

  1. Fear not, Matthew. I can tell you that my husband reads many a book which is considered to be Chick Lit. In any case, both you, and he, read so widely it really is not a “mark” against you!

    Have been enjoying your blog for years (though I’ve not posted in a while) and always find great recommendations on here.

    Thank you, Matthew. You are so very disciplined in keeping up with your reviews, the format of which, I think is stellar. I also love your “babble”.


  2. Hi Debra! Thank you for your compliment. I am glad I can connect with fellow readers like you through this blog, which I first started as a conversation with myself. I also come to read books that I have not heard of or would otherwise not read through the book bloggers.

    I really enjoyed Judy Blume’s book and I think many girls would have shared some of the aspects of the friendship depicted in the book. I think every genre (historical fiction, mystery, etc) has superficial, supermarket novels. In the same way, chick-lit could be very substanced.

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