My sister Jenny and I have vastly different taste in books. Because I was an English major in college and therefore a bit of a literary snob, I sometimes take a little bit too much perverse pleasure in judging teasing her about her book tastes.
She loves to read teen chick lit books like Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen. And while I’m no Proust scholar, I tend to read things I believe have more substance. It honestly pains me to see my smart, funny, articulate sister sitting down to read The Princess Diaries III yet again (she claims to have read it at least 15 times). I could go into a long rant about my reasons why, but I’ll spare you 🙂
To give you a sense of what we’re talking about, here are lists of our top ten favorite books. I’ll note that Jenny had a relatively easy time coming up with her list; I agonized over mine, and am still not quite sure it’s right.
|Jenny’s Top 10 All Time
Favorite Books EVER
|Kim’s Top 10 Favorite Books Ever (Subject to Change)|
|1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
3. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
6. The Princess Diaries Book 3: Princess in Love by Meg Cabot*
7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
8. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
10. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
|1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffinger
2. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
3. A Prayer for the City by Buzz Bissinger
4. The New, New Journalism by Robert S. Boynton
5. We Were the Mulvaney’s or The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates**
6. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
7. This Day: Diaries From American Women by Joni B. Cole, Rebecca Joffrey, and B.K. Rakhra
8. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
9. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Sarah Jane Gilman
10. Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni
The idea of doing sister co-reviews came from a slightly snobby Christmas present I gave Jenny. This year I gave her a copy of Loved Walked In (a romance I got the impression has a level of literary value lacking from some of her other books), along with a list other appropriately “literary” romances for her to read. Jenny took my “gift” with good humor and I thought that was the end of it.
While on our trip to San Francisco, Jenny told me that I should be proud of her: she had picked out an appropriately literary book all by herself that I had to read. After some discussion, we decided I would read the book and then we would do a review together so she could be “famous” on my blog.
For the last week or so, we’ve been trading e-mails back and forth for our review of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (coming tomorrow). It’s been so much fun that we decided to turn this into a regular feature over the summer: The Sisterhood of the Summer Reviews. (That’s me on the left, and her on the right).
Over the next few months, she’ll be reading my favorite fiction book, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and I’ll be reading her favorite, The Truth About Forever. Yep, that’s right folks… this literary snob is going to sit down with Sarah Dessen this summer. Yay?
Anyway, I think this will be a fun way to introduce a new perspective to the blog and help me spend some time trying to convince my sister that there is good literature out there. And who knows, maybe I’ll be taken down a notch and have to admit she doesn’t read just trash!
* “All of them are really good but number three is by far my absolute favorite” — Jenny
** I can’t really choose one over the other — they are equally as awesome.