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Library Loot: Hemingway, Wilde and…Curtis Sittenfeld?

December 16, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Ah, Library Loot, I do love you. Though I love libraries, in general, sometimes our teeny little Brookhaven Library is a tad unpredictable. Sometimes it’s a hit; sometimes it’s a miss. (Toco Hills and Chamblee have much better selections but it’s my secret life mission to save Brookhaven and make it super for coming generations, so I feel that, in the meantime, I should at least support it with visits.) Yesterday, Little Brookhaven appeared, at first, to be a bit of a miss but it redeemed itself with some usually absent Mommy-only time (allowed by a rather unfortunate sick day, durring which I was banned from school). Who knew browsing could be so productive without a two and a half-year old’s help?*


Here’s what I found:





So, I sort of had a fun, albeit lukewarm, encounter with Sittenfeld’s Prep, a few summers ago. I wasn’t completely enchanted but I enjoyed it enough to finish it. For me, I think it was too reminiscent of Tom Wolf’s I Am Charlotte Simmons. However, I guess, the thought that made me pick up American Wife, was “Well, I liked Tom Wolf’s books before I picked up Charlotte; maybe every writer misses the mark once or twice…” and thus, home it came with me.




I know, I’m a Hemingway fan (it’s true!) and I really should have read these two by now but I simply haven’t ever gotten around to them and they’re among the slim few I didn’t inherit from one family member or another. My parents just got back from a trip to Papa’s ol’ stomping grounds and I think, more than anything else, I picked them up out of Key West withdrawal.

Of course, if Hemingway is to be your Papa, then Oscar Wilde is, perhaps, to be that dashingly cool, older brother who always says the very wrong thing at the very right time, usually at the dinner table, on break from college. He makes your parents (and everyone else) blush, subverts every (“sensible”) dominant paradigm , and dandies his way right into the hearts of all who lay claim to a love of words, oh beautiful words.

Over the winter break, I’d love to go back and revisit my old buddy in The Picture of Dorian Gray and do a literal “re-view” for the blog. It’s one of my favorite stories and, you know, not just another Faustus retelling (because it’s The One and Only Wilde!) but, of course, I read it so long ago that I need to look back over it to do it justice.

Ah, but, I suppose this is silly. I need to just drop the love letter to M’dear Oscar and spit it out, already. While Dorian Gray was Wilde’s only novel, there have been many written about the man and his work. I came across Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance, just as I was leaving, today and had to grab it. We’ll see what sort of justice it does to the man, himself, and his legacy.

Phew, this turned out to be a pretty long winded post about four fairly short books but I guess I’m pretty pumped about all four. Let me know if you’ve read (or reviewed) any of these or are interested in reading them. Also, t’would be great if anyone comes across any more Wilde-inspired fiction. For now…over and out!

*Of course, I really shouldn’t poke; Kai (aforementioned “helpful” browsing buddy) loves the library and is so interested in the computer and my books that he’ll end up with his own blog in only a matter of time. Seriously, though, I have to side with Amanda (and her recent defense of a child’s natural draw toward complex reading) and say that kids love this stuff, without any prompting. Kai even climbed up on my lap, this afternoon, and proceeded to sit still and interested all the way through Eva’s vlog asking interested questions. He’s a geek, I know, but I suppose it’s genetic. Honestly, who footnotes a Library Loot post?!)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 10:11 pm

    I used to live in a town that had a library that was one 10X10 room. It was teeny tiny. But I figure if you can find even a few books to try, it still helps!

    Enjoy your loot.

  2. December 17, 2010 1:11 pm

    I was also lukewarm about Prep, but loved An American Wife. It had so much life in it, and the characters were really believable to me. I hope that you really enjoy it and I will be looking forward to reading your thoughts on it!

  3. December 17, 2010 5:53 pm

    A friend gave me An American Wife but I still haven’t read it. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

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