Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Challenge 20.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book

Day 20.

Colette's Cheri. No hesitations. It was the one Colette on a trip to New York last year that I saw, that I didn't own yet. I had money. I was prepared to buy whatever I found that I kind of wanted, even a little bit, because it was the first time I had money in years and years. So I bought it along with many other books (including the Bad Seed which let me down!) and only afterwards did I really covet and adore it and now when I see copies for sale I swoon. I did swoon when I found the Complete Claudine. It was at RiverRead Books. One might get a grossly inaccurate idea of that place from the website - it is really beautiful, right on the Chenango River (or the Susquehanna, actually, I'm not sure - there's a confluence). I had no money and was visiting an ex who was not an ex then (I speak here of my weird trip to Ithaca with him) which cost me a lot of money. So it was rare on my visits to have extra money and he didn't have any either so he staunchly wanted to avoid the very seductive bookstore that we had to pass to get to the library. I finally forced us in sometime because I had twenty dollars. The Complete Claudine was twenty dollars. I went there. The bookseller was aghast with me. I was so charmed. Usually I encounter booksellers who aren't familiar enough with material to find it morally reprehensible. I didn't get to relive that thrill until last summer. After a year of enjoying John Waters' pronunciation of Marguerite Duras (which is so dramatic and all over the commentary for Polyester) I bought the Lover from the Bookworm. The Bookworm is a bookstore in the West Shore Farmers' Market in Lemoyne, PA, right outside the capital, and it just moved to the prime retail spot in the first corner one sees when walking in. All my favorite memories of being an unemployed college-graduate (only a summer's worth, which is the perfect amount) are tied up in my ability to go to the Farmers' Market. When I found the Lovers there and bought it, the owner touched my hand and asked "Are you old enough to be reading this, little girl?"


  1. I'm a huge fan of Colette. I think the Claudine books are my favourites. Also your story about buying The Lover is great.

  2. Have you read the Pure and the Impure? That is my all time favorite Colette. I really want to give Claudine another swing. I was reading Fleur Jaeggy's Sweet Days of Discipline which is also romantic and about boarding school and it really whisked me away. Anything would crumble under it and I think you would LOVELOVELOVE IT if you haven't had the pleasure!

    The old man that runs that little bookstore is very sweet. The next time I went in there, his daughter was doing some cleaning up. He said "It's my birthday! If you can guess my age, you can get the equivalent percentage off your purchases!" and his daughter went, very slyly and to herself, "You can't take 500% off a book, daddy."

  3. I love those kind of bookshop stories! No, I haven't read that Colette, nor the Fleur Jaeggy book. They sound great - thanks for the recommendation. I really love The Innocent Libertine by Colette as well, all her books really. I definitely have a few gaps in my Colette collection.