Thursday, December 17, 2009
Blast From the Past: Shelf Discovery
Lizzie Skurnick writes breezy reviews of books she remembered from her teens growing up for the Jezebel web site. She's about the same age as me, so our reading overlapped quite a bit. She gathered many of those commentaries, and wrote some more, for this lively collection (Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading: a Reading Memoir) that brings those books back to vivid memory. She organizes the books into various categories (Heroines, Puberty, Tear-Jerkers, etc.) and also sometimes invites other people to contribute their own essays. Her tone is light and cheerful, occasionally mentioning darker concerns or marveling at the ability of her younger self to overlook flaws or enjoy painful sections.
The book was a good reminder of many stories I enjoyed those decades ago, and a fun chance to dig up the few that I missed. There's also a challenge running along with it; I considered skipping the essays on the books I still have to read but then decided that was far too much organization for me. Not a deep book, but a fun one. It would be interesting to have a male bibliophile check it out to see how much lower his match rate was. B.
PS. It is sad how long it took me to get the pun in the title. Self Discovery/Shelf Discovery. My only excuse is that I find the latter much more interesting than the former. That's why libraries are so much more fun than meditation.