Yes, not exactly an obscure hipster choice, but this was the first book series I was majorly into that was published during my lifetime, the only one where I waited desperately for each successive book to come out. Well, okay, I only got started on it soon after the fourth book came out, but I mainlined all four books the weekend before I started college and was therefore in kind of a daze during most of the freshman orientation activities. Waiting for each new installment made me feel like I was, in some small way, participating in something culturally important, as silly as that sounds.
The book in which the stakes get raised, where it goes from being a children’s series to something much more. And not just because I ship Remus/Sirius. But also because I ship Remus/Sirius.
The entire Thursday Next series. I don’t know any book lover who isn’t absolutely delighted by this series. It’s wickedly clever and British, to boot. It's been several years since I read it, and I think a few new books have come out in the series since then. I'll add it to my long list of rereads (which got much longer as I was compiling this list).
This isn’t the sort of book I’d read if I’d just picked it up off the shelf, but a good friend of mine who has excellent taste in books put a quote from it as his AIM status (remember AIM?): “If I’d known you were coming, I would have cleaned up – my life, I mean, not just the apartment.” I found that so amusing that I bought the book, and later found out that my friend hadn’t actually read it yet.
Anyway, adored the book and the characters, which is why the ending gutted me so thoroughly. I can count the books that have made me cry on… well, at the moment on two fingers*, though I’m sure I could think of at least two more fingers if I tried. But, yeah, when (skip) Henry loses his feet to frostbite and starts screaming because he knows it’s only a matter of time before he’s going to die, I started crying and didn’t stop until the end, even though by the end it was a good kind of cry. Still, thinking about it makes me sad.
*The other is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when [not gonna gray this out, because c'mon, you've read it] Harry writes on Dobby's headstone "Here lies Dobby, a free elf."
I don’t know if it’s really “underrated,” but it’s amazing and almost no one I meet has heard of it. The narrator is an albino, hunchback dwarf whose parents were in the circus sideshow… and did everything possible to ensure their children would be “attractions,” including exposing them in vitro to drugs and radiation. She has Siamese twin sisters, a brother who has hands and feet but no arms and legs, and a brother who appears normal, but is telepathic and telekinetic and may have other powers, as well. The plot goes places you’d never expect and makes HBO’s Carnivale look like The Brady Bunch. It’s occasionally disturbing and definitely not for everyone, but for someone like me who is fascinated by human oddities, it just doesn’t get any better.
I was out of town with the family for the weekend, and when we went to pick up the dogs from the boarders, we found out they've been using Gator, our 95-pound German shepherd, to haze the new employees. Gator has a loud, ferocious bark, and he goes nuts whenever anybody passes by his crate, so the veteran employees make the newbies go in there to give him his food and water. Of course, once they're inside, Gator turns into the big ol' muffin that he actually is. It's the little one you've actually got to watch out for...
So, I was away from the computer all weekend. Anything happen that I should know about?
They know. They know and they're fucking with us. At the very least, Simon is.