Tuesday, August 21

What kind of Psycho-Betty am I?

So, after reading Shandon's thrilling news I decided to brave Mom's closet and look one last time for my old pre-teen reading materials. Mom has a couple of wrap around shelves in her walk-in closet where many of our books have gone to die. I didn't find Jane Emily, but I did find that image of the cover online and it really took me back. I did, however, find the following books:
  • Anne of Green Gables "The most beloved, beguiling and timeless heroine on all fiction."
  • A Matter of Feeling "The bittersweet memories of a young French girl's first love and the heartwarming tale of life in a Parisian family."
  • The Babysitter "The baby's crib is empty and something dreadful has happened to... the babysitter."
  • A Stranger is Watching "A terrifying tale!"
  • Sybil "The true and extraordinary story of a woman possessed by sixteen separate personalities."
Guess which books have thoroughly creased spines? Guess which books I completely devoured? I''ll give you a hint, it wasn't Anne of Green Gables or A Matter of Feeling. I loved creepy, freaky stories and still do. Although, I seem to have had a higher tolerance for "spine-tingling" tales when I was younger. Scary is harder for me to digest now.

I recall having to read Pet Sematary in front of a fire near the room my parents were watching tv in... and that was in high school. Maybe that's around the time I started to lose my nerve. Curse you Stephen King!!! *Waving fists at sky*

I was obsessed with The Amityville Horror but was recently disappointed when I made a Jodie reference and nobody got it. (KB and Shandon would have understood. Why do I even bother talking to anyone else?) Mommie Dearest still holds a very special place in my heart. Fallen icons have been a favorite subject ever since. It was the first Behind the Music experience of my life I ate it up. Mom recently saw an interview with Chirstina Crawford and said "Ya know, I really don't like that woman. I think she was a spoiled brat and I don't really blame old Joan for making her eat that supposedly raw steak. I think that kid exaggerated." I love my mom. She cracks me up.

I also adore By Myself, Lauren Bacall's autobiography. I must have picked it up from mom's pile of books because I can't imagine picking it out myself. I was about 13 when I read it and it probably started my love of non-fiction. It's funny how I tend to remember single scenes from the books I've read. I remember Lauren Bacall writing about her recurring nightmares about a body bag chasing her after Bogie died. They just packed Bogie up in a body bag and hauled him off right in front of her. Can you imagine?! For some reason her nightmares really made an impression on me. I still feel bad that she had to see that. I hope people are more tactful these days.

On the other hand, it's nice to know my dark side still lives. Guess what I'm watching right now? It's an episode of Nova called The Most Dangerous Woman in America. It's the story of Typhoid Mary... COOL! (It's amazing how many epidemics could have been avoided with a great big jug of Purell.)

Last year, when I went to Big Bear for a nice relaxing scrapbooking weekend with the girls, I was reading Year of Wonders. I loved the book but had a tough time defending reading about the plague/black death while on vacation. This weekend we're getting together for another scrapping weekend and I happen to be reading The Worst Hard Time. It's all about the dustbowl and is full of first hand accounts. I love it! I swear I would have been a history major if somebody had assigned books like this to me back in the day. It's not that I enjoy human suffering, I'm just fascinated by survival stories. I'm also amazed at our ability to forget the "worst hard times". I think it's official... we suck.

I pulled all of the books listed above from the bookshelf with the intention of adding them to my Bookmooch inventory. After some thought though, I'm thinking Sybil looks good and maybe, for a change of pace, I'll give that Anne of Green Gables a try. But first, does anyone know a good book on Typhoid Mary?


shandon said...

Anthony Bourdain wrote a book about Typhoid Mary, and I think I have a copy! I'll take a look.

What a great post. My old copy of Jane-Emily has a way cheesier cover; I'll have to scan it and show you.

kb said...

Ya know, I never did read Anne of Green Gables, but Sybil was a well worn book. Yep, I totally remember Jodie and Mommie Dearest will always rock. My kids look so puzzled when I rant about wire hangers!