Thursday, August 23, 2007

It had me at hello

I stumbled onto a book being released in September of this year that is a memoir based on one woman's search for all things Austen and how it affected her faith. Um, canNOT wait for that. I've been tempted to go down that road myself - you know, instead of trying to write great, original fiction I could just write fiction (or nonfiction) completely based on the fiction I already love. So I really want to read and see how this woman approached it. But that's a side note - the actual point is that I hate to admit it, but I'm one of those people who probably did not really discover Austen until the movie Sense and Sensibility. I liked Emma possibly even more than that one, and that's when I started in on the books. Shamefully, I did not read Pride and Prejudice until, well, I can't even believe how much of my life lacked the sheer felicity of reading that book. So here is what I'm wondering, what other treasures am I missing? What other books are out there that could fill out my I-will-love-these-books-forever repertoire?

It's a literary fact so well-known that it's completely lame to even mention it, but all of these books have the best first lines. The moment I read them, I am there. And, that's right, I'm also one of those people. I read my favorite books often. A book I only want to read once is not a book to me. It's more like a really long one of those B movies that I rented once and of which I can no longer even remember the plot. I'm such a snob that way. I know lots of people just want to read a book once and move on. Their tastes are surely more eclectic than mine in that way. But anyway, I like my books to be friends, and I want them to befriend me from the very first line.

And here's the punchline for today. If you've only seen the movie of this one, you are missing out on one of the most entertaining reads of all time. "The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette." Read the rest. You'll love it.

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