I did a ton of reading this summer, and holy shit, were there some great books.
My dad has always said that you'll never lonely or bored if you love to read, and I couldn't agree more. His advice especially helped me in my teen years, when I got into a huge fight with my group of friends because I broke plans with them one weekend to hang out with my new boyfriend.
"Theriouthly, you guys?" I lisped through my braces. "You're mad about this? I have braces, stringy hair, a huge nose, and tiny boobs. No one in the world ever thought I'd get a boyfriend, and now one of the hot football players wants to make me chicken wings and fried rice at his house." (This really was one of our first dates, and it was awesome; there were many more like this to come.) "Shouldn't you be encouraging this instead of hating me for missing another one of our Friday night sleepovers? And aren't we too old to be playing with Cabbage Patch dolls, anyway?"
I think the key words were "hot football player." Of course none of us ever thought I'd get a date, and yet one of the most sought-after guys in school, by chance, landed in a desk next to me in study hall that year and, by some miracle granted by the grace of God in a Catholic high school, managed to look past my...well, my teenage face...and fall in love with my personality.
It happens a lot, you guys. You learn to hone shit like sense of humor to perfection when you have a nose like this to compensate for.
Anyway, those bitches were jelly. And in the months to come, there were many weekends when they would not speak to me based solely upon that very first date when I stood them up for a boy.
And although he stood by my side for the 2 1/2 years that we were together and remains a good friend even now, there were times when I missed my friends. But that's okay, because I fell back on my love of reading to get me through until I met good friends who didn't gang up on me and ditch me for one small mistake that I'd made on one Friday night.
I read a ton of books, learned a lot, and ultimately became an unpublished blog authorette who has to hide her identity because she likes to cuss and often talks about what a dirty slut she was in college. So SCREW THEM! I totally win!
To this day, I carry a book with me wherever I go. (When I say carry a book, I literally mean carry a book. I am a creature of habit, an old-school kind of girl who hates change, so, much to the surprise of my family and friends who know how much I love to read, I haven't gotten an e-reader.) And you know what? My dad is right. I'm never lonely or bored. In fact, I've learned to love taking my car in for an oil change. Wait time 45 minutes? That's okay! I've got a book. Take as long as you need, boys.
These are some of the hard copies that I carried around with me over the summer:
In order to generate some publicity for my little blog, I'd like to give them away to you now. Please know this about my giveaways: It's normally shit that I've already used--especially when it comes to books. You don't think I could have a book like Girl on the Train sitting around my house and not snatch it up and read it before passing it along, do you?
Another thing: I'm a tightwad. The Girl on the Train and The Vacationers are the only 2 that I bought brand new, and that was only because I was at the local Wal-Mart and they literally jumped into my cart. At least that's what I told my husband in order to assuage my guilt for paying full price for them. It's not like he even cares. He says there are much worse addictions to have--like the "having sex with random guys" addiction I had in college. He'd much rather me be reading books behind the Dumpster of the local bar than giving hand jobs.
The rest of the books were bought at a secondhand store. There may or may not be a couple of coffee stains on the pages, and although I'd like to blame the previous owners of the books, I will admit that I'm guilty as charged. There's nothing I like better than relaxing with a cup of coffee (or, if it's after 8 PM, a Captain and Coke) and a good book. You'll notice that Malala has a coffee stain smack dab on her lip. No, that's not a birth mark on her beautiful, inspirational face. It's coffee.
Speaking of Malala, her book almost got me kicked out of book club. It was interesting and inspiring and actually a very quick read, but during the particular point in the summer when I was reading it, I simply didn't have a lot of time--and during the time that I did have to read it, I wanted to take my time and learn from it.
The other members of my book club, however, had different ideas. They wanted to discuss the book and move on to our next choice, and they threatened to boot me if I didn't hurry up. The worst part about it was that one of the other members of book club who finished before me was my little sister, who is pretty much illiterate. Had you told me back in high school that my little sister was going to finish a book before me, I might have just ended it all right there.
Instead, I had to deal with her berating me for being slow with the book.
"Um," I remember pointing out after the initial threat that I would be kicked out if I didn't hurry up and finish, "somehow I don't think that Malala--the girl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for education--would approve of you kicking me out of book club."
My nostrils flared with arrogance as I made what I thought was an awesome point. Seriously, who could argue with that?
Apparently my little sister.
"OR," she said, raising her eyebrows all sky-high on her mile-long forehead, "she might be like, 'Bitch, I finished a physics text in the time it took you to get through the intro. Step it up!'"
Either way, I read the book and I enjoyed it. And like I said, it's a quick read--if you're anyone but me, apparently.
So what I'm doing now is giving all of these awesome books away. And not to be annoying, but what I'd love for you to do in order to enter is head to my Facebook page and "like" and "share" the book giveaway post that's over there. I need some more Facebook followers, dammit, and hopefully this will help. And if not, then hey, your odds are great because I am currently up to, like, 5 readers. I'll draw a name on Friday, September 4th, and the winner will receive all of the books in the picture.