Here we have the mythology shelf, where two very different males engage in personal odysseys through a modern world populated by the ancient gods. Teenage Percy Jackson and his pals might be frightened by hardened criminal Shadow from American Gods. True that Percy’s faced down snake-headed ladies and fought death itself, but Shadow’s a little rougher around the edges. Shadow would probably order a straight vodka with his breakfast and Percy would say, “Uh, I’ll have OJ. Straight.” Shadow would smile and say something manly and Percy would shoot a panicked look at Annabeth, who would roll her eyes and reach for Edith Hamilton’s Mythology to correct everything it got wrong.
Here we have a little stack of nice YA romances, and I’d like to send all of them on a triple date together. True that one of them is dead (I won’t say who), but we’ll pretend they’re all alive and healthy enough to sit around a table at a kitschy diner with a fantastic jukebox. Nick and Norah would be engaged in lively debate about music with Audrey and James, and Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars would share a milkshake and grins while they listened. Eventually the talk would turn to bad ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, Augustus would impishly play “Audey, Wait,” and the whole group would end up dancing like maniacs.
This is where the upper class hangs out. Naturally, Emma is holding court in the middle and happily telling the Annes from Persuasion and Jane Austen in Scarsdale exactly who they should marry and when. The Annes are making eye contact over head and rolling their eyes. Luckily, Emma has a couple of disciples in Megan from How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls and basically all of the teenagers in Sweet Valley. Emma would really like to be sharing tea with Gatsby, but he considers her to be too frivolous and the rest of them to be too nouveau riche for his tastes. Jessica Wakefield is confident she’ll be BFFs with Daisy though because Jessica Wakefield is delusional.
A while ago, I found this suggestion online:
Imagine your books are persons. Then arrange them according to the conversations they could have with their neighbors.
Naturally, it captures my imagination to think of my books waiting until I flick off the lights to engage in their after dark chats. When I built my new bookcases and rearranged my home office, I spent hours one Sunday afternoon arranging many of my books in this way. I’ll be sharing some of my favorites over the next couple of days.
The books about precocious kids all got together for a wild rumpus on one of the lower shelves. Allie Finkle is pretending to be a foreign ninja warrior princess with Betsy and Tacy, while Turtle Wexler and Flavia de Luce start a girl’s detective agency. The kids from The Goonies (Yeah, I have the movie novelization. Jealous?) are joining up with Stanley Yelnats and the other delinquents from Holes to find a way to rescue the Lemony Snicket kids (“Orphans never say die! Down here, it’s our time!”), while Matilda and Kat Incorrigible sip tea and discuss Regency era romances and take turns moving things with their eyes to freak out the other kids. I thought about pairing Nanny from The Nanny Diaries with a cute single memoir guy, but I needed someone to wrangle the moppets at bedtime.
I like to imagine this stack gathered around a flashlight at a sleepover when a storm is brewing outside. Catherine from Northanger and the nameless new Mrs de Winter from Rebecca could get themselves all in a dither with their tales of gothic fright. Then the ghostly narrator from The Lovely Bones could be like, “You guys are weak sauce. I have a better story about a creepy neighbor guy who built an underground cave.” And then Ms Roach, who would be surprised to find herself on my bookshelf in the dark, would roll her eyes and tell them that so-called “mediums” used to stuff gauze up their ladyparts to trick people into thinking they were spewing ectoplasm and, sorry Susie Salmon, but you probably don’t exist. But then Rory from Name of the Star would be like, “Uh, hey, I see dead people, so maybe they’re right.” And then thunder would boom through the room and they would all scream and jump.
On this shelf, Katniss from The Hunger Games and Katsa from Graceling compete in a super intense archery contest complete with flinty stares while Peeta and Po sit to the side drinking beer and exchanging war stories. They’d kind of be hoping for a Girl Fight when the lost boys from Lord of the Flies would come over the hill screeching that they’re going to kill the pig, but they’d stop dead when Katniss and Katsa turn the power of their stone cold gazes on them. Peeta would say, “Hey, guys, have a beer or something. The girls will shoot us a pig for dinner later. Where’d you get that face paint? Do you have any left? That really takes me back.” And Po would say, “I sense these guys could use a bath.” They’d all have a good laugh, and then they’d discuss survival skills and form an alliance to take down the rest of the bookcase.
Tomorrow: Mindy Kaling and Bridget Jones have lots of questions for Elizabeth Bennet-Darcy and a bunch of books take a road trip together.
Things I could have done tonight:
– Cook an actual meal instead of eating sliced apples with cheese
– Fold all of my laundry instead of letting it languish in the dryer
– Watch one of the Netflix movies gathering dust on my TV stand
– Curl up with one of the 3 books I am currently reading
– Wash all of the dishes that are becoming unsanitary in my sink
– Train my schnauzer not to bark at herself in the mirror
But here’s what I actually did…