10 Days – 5 Books & Why I Don’t Loan People Sh!t Anymore


5 Books

5. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

I first read this book back in college when I was taking a modern Brit Lit class to complete my requirements for my English degree. You can literally feel the heart and soul Smith put into this book. I can’t even begin to summarize the story and do it justice. It goes into the lives of two different families – one English & Jamaican, one Bengali (Indian) – and the struggles they face assimilating into contemporary British life.

I love the way Smith describes scenes:

“…despite all this, it is still hard to admit that there is no one more English than the Indian, no one more Indian than the English. There are still young white men who are angry about that; who will roll out at closing time into the poorly lit streets with a kitchen knife wrapped in a tight fist. But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears – dissolution, disappearance.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
“It seems to me,’ said Magid finally, as the moon became clearer than the sun, ‘that you have tried to love a man as if he were an island and you were shipwrecked and you could mark the land with an X. It seems to me it is too late in the day for all that.’
Then he gave her a kiss on the forehead that felt like a baptism and she wept like a baby.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth



4. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen


Such a great novel. I do think the fact that the protagonist ends up marrying her cousin is a little weird, but the book itself an interesting conversation on the subjects of poverty vs. wealth, slavery (in many forms) vs. freedom, love vs. lust. I actually used this book in my final thesis to discuss the poor parent figures that dominate virtually all of Austen’s work.

3. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

My mom bought my first Anne Rice book for me, although I don’t think she would have had she really understood

 some of the subject matter! Then again, my mom also regularly gave me the Creative Loafing Magazines when I was in my pre-teens (Atlanta’s leading alternative newspaper) so who knows?? Either way, I’m grateful to her for introducing me to the perfect reading material for a semi-social awkward young girl. It was cool reading stealing out of reality for a little while.

 I read through this series like a madperson, then devoured her Witching Hour/ Mayfair Family series, and moved on to her other books. Sometimes her writing gets a bit wordy, but I liked the dark, deviant, bloody and disturbing world she sucks you into. This is also the first book I ever loaned to someone and DIDN’T GET BACK.


(There are a few people who I consider as exceptions to this rule, but for the most part if you ask to borrow my books I’ll say hell-to-the-naw.)

2. The Babysitter’s Club #1: Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin

I remember when I’d have to save my allowance to buy these books, and how they were the only things I’d ask for at Christmas and on my birthday… besides gift cards to Waldenbooks or cash for book fairs to go buy more of them! As soon as a new book in the series arrived at the store, I’d tear right through it, then have to sit, pissed off and frustrated that I didn’t have any more to read until the new one came out MONTHS later.

I must have read at least 90 of them, plus 3 Super Specials before I eventually moved on to Sweet Valley High. 

1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

 One of my top ten ALL TIME favorite books. What’s funny is it’s one of the few books I’ve ever read after seeing the movie first! Movie wasn’t great, but the storyline still seemed pretty interesting.

 It’s a fairy tale, and I have read it cover to cover so many times I cannot count. Each time it touches my heart all over again. Since reading this book, I’ve become a huge fan of Gaiman.

“I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But is this is all there is, then I don’t want to be sane. ” 
Neil Gaiman, Stardust
“Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust
“…So what I want to know is why it is that I can no longer find you, in my mind. You are still there, just, but you are there like a ghost, a will o’ the wisp. Not long ago you burned–your heart burned–in my mind like silver fire. But after that night in the inn it became patchy and dim, and now it is not there at all.””Could it be that the heart that you seek is no longer my own? …I have given my heart to another.””The boy? The one in the inn? With the unicorn?””Yes.”

“You should have let me take it back then, for my sisters and me. We could have been young again, well into the next age of the world. Your boy will break it, or waste it, or lose it. They all do.”

“Nonetheless, he has my heart. I hope your sisters will not be too hard on you, when you return to them without it.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust

I always find it odd when people say they don’t read books. How can you not love to read? Is it narcissistic that I consider people who don’t read as odd? It’s usually a good indicator that we probably won’t have a whole lot in common. I also have a bad habit of mentally adjusting their possible IQ by a few points. Let’s be honest. Stupid people don’t read a lot. I know, it’s mean of me, but I can’t help it. I think I’m like, a book snob.
Since I was a kid I’ve loved books – fiction, history, poetry, funny, sad, long, short, pictures, no pictures. I read them at the dinner table, in the car, in the bathtub, on the toilet. 🙂 I remember getting in trouble with a teach in the 3rd grade because I was secretly reading a book in class. I’d already finished my work and had nothing to do, so I whipped out my newest book and started to read. She took it away from me. A few days after, she called me mom in to tell her that I was Antisocial and suggested that I spend more time at “slumber parties” with my classmates. The truth is, I didn’t like more of my classmates. A lot of them were ignorant asshats that teased me for reading.  And for having glasses. And for having a big nose. So why the eff would I want to spend more time with them than necessary?
Here’s the definition of antisocial:
1. Shunning the society of others; not sociable.
2. Hostile to or disruptive of the established social order; marked by or engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores: gangs engaging in vandalism and other antisocial behavior.
3. Antagonistic toward or disrespectful of others; rude.
Let’s be clear: Charles Manson is Antisocial. He was also a psychopath. Unless a small child is mutilating animals in the basement of her neighbor’s house, calling her antisocial is a bit harsh! My mom basically told her where to go regarding my “antisocial behavior” and advised her not to call a parent-teacher conference again unless it was for a real issue.
Either way, it didn’t deter me from reading, and it’s still something I enjoy today. I’m happy to share my love for books with you all 🙂

3 responses »

  1. Love this post…actually I love all of your posts but I don’t always take time to comment. I just had to weigh in on this one, though. Books are my passion, always have been. I remember telling long elaborate stories while paging through books long before I could actually read them. You are not alone in your geekdom. I too think less of people who say they don’t like to read. Conversely, when I find out someone loves reading it can reverse my original opinion. Let a waitress tell me she is reading Atlas Shrugged or the latest John Maxwell book and her tips go up! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about “important” books for me. I love the mysteries and psycho thrillers, even the occasional romance. Those are the brain candy of the soul. -Angela

    • Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond! I love hearing that people out there in the world really like and want to hear what I have to say.

      I have ALWAYS loved books – I think they unlock worlds that, especially when I was a kid, I’d wistfully wish I could enter. Although the BBE pointed out that in addition to the really great reads I have under my belt, I have also read *gasp* Twilight books. Regardless of that fact I still proudly claim the title of book snob. In my opinion it doesn’t matter WHAT you’re reading, just read!!

      With that said, please keep reading… especially my blogs 🙂

      – renee

  2. Hello, I just hopped over to your web site using StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might typically browse, but I enjoyed your thoughts none the less. Thanks for creating some thing well worth browsing.

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