The wonderful thing about unpacking books, aside from the benefit to the muscles of the upper arm, is rediscovering whole treasure troves of books you’ve forgotten. I’ve been grazing among the forgotten books of the back shelves this past week, including:
— Bill Bryson, I’m a Stranger Here Myself.
My friend Jenny gave this to me as a going away gift when I moved to England in 2002. It seemed appropriate. The short essays are Bryson’s musings on returning to America after twenty years in England. Ten years later, they still make me laugh out loud on the subway. (Yes, this happened on Monday. People moved away.) Some of the details are a little dated now, especially vis a vis electronics, but that has its own sort of time capsule fascination.
— Jill Winters, Blushing Pink.
This was another time capsule. I sat next to Jill Winters at my very first RWA book signing (New England Chapter!) back in 2005, right after The Secret History of the Pink Carnation came out in hardcover. We swapped books. Hers seemed right on point at the time– about a twenty-seven year old history grad student bogged down in her dissertation. (I’d already switched to law school at that point, but I still empathized.) I didn’t read much American chick lit, but I read Jill Winters.
— Molly O’Keefe, Can’t Buy Me Love.
I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Molly at RT this past April. Yes, that panel. The infamous History Fan Fictionary panel. Molly was our moderator, keeping us (sort of) honest. She also gave me an advance copy of her upcoming book, which disappeared into the pile of Books to be Packed before re-emerging from a counter-intuitive box (how did books get in with the pantry stuff?) last week. I’m so glad I found it. It reminds me, in some ways, of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Ain’t She Sweet?, about a bad girl who turns out not to be so bad after all, with a touch of Crusie-esque tone.
Back to the boxes to see what else I can find….
What have you been reading this week?