An Open Letter About Books
@ChrisK recently wrote a lovely and heartfelt list letter to his daughter in which he strongly recommended books older than 25 years. DEAR ISABELLA, I haven't been able to stop thinking about that since. Because 😜🤓. And because I love all books and I cannot lie. Total respect, love and admiration your way, as always.
- •Maybe it was more about fiction than non-fiction?Because otherwise we would be discounting the history that has occurred within the recent past and/or the thoughts/feelings/opinions of contemporary people. What about the voice of the current generation? What about the various minorities and marginalized groups that have finally won a bigger presence in media and culture?
- •But also fiction.I am primarily a fiction gal. I love all manner of books, but literary fiction (whatevs the fuck that means) and speculative fiction are my ultra jam. I have been affected truly and deeply by some more recent fiction. The Book of Strange New Things and Bird Box are two I read last year and still think about today.
- •There are also comics/graphic novels/graphic memoirs.Sandman barely makes the cut and that book changed my life. The world of comics has become so rich and diverse and impactful. The popularization of the graphic memoir has opened a window into the lives of so many kinds of people and gives us exposure to so many different kinds of experience.
- •Some books published within the past 25 years.Harry Potter, Between the World and Me, The God of Small Things, The Orphan Master's Son, Olive Kitteridge, Let the Great World Spin(fave, fave, FAVE), Boy Snow Bird, Nevada, Brown Girl Dreaming, The Enchanted, The Bluest Eye.
- •Some comics published within the past 25 years.The Sandman, Alias, Y: The Last Man, Preacher, Bitch Planet, Saga, Ms. Marvel(current gen), Powers, Lumberjanes
- •Some graphic novels/memoirs written within the past 25 years.Persepolis, Nimona, Hyperbole and a Half, Through the Woods, This One Summer, Fun Home, Honor Girl.
- •Mad respect for classics and older books too.The first man I ever loved was Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens' words can be dry as dirt to a 12 year old, but we read it out loud in English class and discussed what it all meant. There was not a dry eye in the room the day we finished it. That experience created a love for finding the meaning within the language.
- •Covers/homages/retellings inspire cautious optimism.But I also quite appreciate an update to a classic when done well, i.e. The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson's cover of Shakespeare's A Winter Tale for the new Hogarth series covering Shakespeare's plays. Boy, Snow, Bird was an absolutely stunning retelling of Snow White.
- •Also, maybe I'm just a nitpicky asshat or an all around philistine, but it's been plaguing my brain so oml im sorry,,,,,tbh i love u and think ur v smart and good at many things including books and lists and kindness to all,,,,ok byeeePraise be now and always to the lovely @lesbian for helping me to express my feelings in an accurate, and adorable, manner. 🌷🌷