Category Archives: Book Love

The Perks of Being a Perks Fan

If any of you know me–really know me–you know that my all-time favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I love it so much for reasons so deeply ingrained in me that it’s almost impossible for me to explain it to people. I usually just wind up saying, “Here. Read it. Remember high school while you do.”

When Neil and I started dating, this was the first book of mine that I had him read–after I managed to partially recover from the shock that came with finding a boy to date who actually likes books. Having him read Perks  was definitely a (probably not-so-subtle) dating test, a “I cannot date if you if you don’t see the obvious beauty that is this book” kind of test. The result? He stayed up until 4:00 a.m. that night to finish it. And now we’ve been dating for almost a year.

I’m going to try not to wax poetic here. What I love most about Perks is easily Stephen Chbosky’s awareness of life and his way of communicating that to us. He takes emotions, situations, and struggles that we’re all familiar with and finds a way to name them, concisely and beautifully. Things you didn’t even know could be described. But he does it, and you know exactly what he’s talking about.

Given, the book is full of teen angst. It is high school, after all. But really now, who didn’t have their fair share of angsty years? And isn’t it good to be reminded of it all? If I could, I would quote the entire book to you, but that would be quite illegal, so I’ll stick to my favorite moments of soul-speak.

Perks is written as a series of letters from an anonymous boy to an unidentified recipient, and it has one of my favorite opening lines ever–one of those things that I love so much but can’t quite explain why.

“I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”

(page 2)

It also has one of my favorite descriptions of those perfect moments of friendship and life where everything just . . . clicks quietly.

“But the amazing thing was that it wasn’t a bad sad at all. It was just something that made everyone look around at each other and know they were there. Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that’s all you can ever ask from a friend.”

(page 66)

Then finally, what I feel may be the most perfect line ever, the most perfect description of the indescribable.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

(page 39)

I’m writing this post because tonight I get to go see the movie! It’s opening night and I am pumped! Not as pumped as I was to receive a SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK, though. My friend Stephanie worked on the movie and when she found out how in love I am with the book, she offered to try to get me an autograph and she got it! Now I have my original copy (complete with underlines and highlights from my angsty years), my signed copy, and plans to get the movie edition to complete my little collection!

Both versions! (Also a bit of a shameless plug for the fantastic book When the Dust Settled, written by Tamara Littrell and edited by yours truly!)

My autographed copy! *Squeal* So kind of Stephen Chbosky!

Now I’m off to see the movie I hope does justice to my favorite book! And sit through all the credits until I see Stephanie’s name!

1 Comment

Filed under Book Love

“And miles to go before I sleep.”

There are few things that can make me more introspective than the arrival of cold weather. The whole world seems to slow down, take a deep breath, and turn in on itself for warmth. Just thinking about it prompts an involuntary sigh of contentment from me.

So many things have gone on in my life in the past three months–what feels like the whole spectrum of the good, the bad, and the ugly–and there’s nothing like approach of winter to remind me to just chill (glorious pun intended) and enjoy everything God has given–is giving–to me. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want out of life, both personally and professionally. It’s an exciting—albeit overwhelming–activity! There is so much that I want to do in this world; to speak in clichés, there’s so much to do and so little time. Worrywart that I am, this bothers me greatly! But then I discovered this Tom Clancy quote:

The only way to do all the things you’d like to do

is to read.

Well played, Tom, old boy. Well played indeed.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Love

“Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt”

I recently loaned a friend my copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, complete with underlines from the class I took when I first read it. Flipping through it when I got it back, looking at my underlines and brackets and asterisks, I realized again how awesome Vonnegut is. I don’t claim to “get” everything he does, but that doesn’t keep it from stirring something deep in my soul. (Now, of course, I’ve added Slaughterhouse-Five to my “to reread” list.)

It made me think of an article I read awhile back that I just loved. Put out by the A.V. Club, “15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will” is full of some of the best Vonnegut quotes of all time. Its one failing is that it doesn’t have my favorite quote–the title of this post–listed. I suppose I can forgive them their oversight.

I encourage you to read the whole article; I promise it’s really not that long! But in case you’re not feeling up to it, below are my favorites of the selected quotes. I was going to go with a top five, but I couldn’t make it less than seven. Just read the article!

  • “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'” —A Man Without A Country
  • “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” —God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  • “She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing.” —Cat’s Cradle
  • “There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too.” —Mother Night
  • “That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.”  —Deadeye Dick
  • “So it goes.” —Slaughterhouse-Five
  • “We must be careful about what we pretend to be.” —Mother Night

2 Comments

Filed under Book Love

True Life: I’m Addicted to Books

Seriously. I have a sickness. I cannot not buy books. I can’t walk by a table of them and not pick one up and feel the neeeeeeed to see what delicious literary feast (or, let’s be honest, half-warmed TV dinner) awaits me within its pages! And if I stumble upon a local bookstore, I’m a lost cause. I’ll tried my hardest to singlehandedly keep that store afloat–at least for another day.

Complementing this problem is the fact that reading for nine hours a day at work and then going home to continue reading doesn’t quite work out all the time (curse you, eyes!). So you can understand that this of course means that I have a whole section of my bookshelf dedicated solely to books I haven’t read yet. Books just begging me to crack their spines, crease their pages, and fall in love with their characters. Drool.

I want nothing more than to grab a giant stack of books, run away from life to a log cabin in the mountains, and camp out until I’ve finished all of them. Alas . . . real life is rude and just won’t let me do that. So I’m left with prioritizing what I want to read next. Here are my current top three to-be-read-as-soon-as-humanely-possible books:

You guys, I want to see this movie! But (surprise, surprise) I've just got to read the book first!

 

 

Tina Fey's writing made me smile from the first line I read in the store. I am pumped!

Somehow this book missed all my required reading lists, which is probably a good thing because now I'm actually excited at the prospect of reading it.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Book Love