Thursday, July 11, 2013

These are a few of my favorite books.....

I have read a lot of books.  I cannot remember a time that I didn't read or have a love affair with books, even before I could read I loved these big Sesame Street and Peanuts books my mom bought us with coupons from the grocery store and any large glossy coffee table book.  Books were my friends, they accompanied me everywhere I went.  While in junior high school I developed a fondness for R.L Stine's Fear Street series and any other knock off I could buy from the troll book order form our English teacher would hand out.  My mother hated these and tried to ban them.  I never understood her stance, at least I was reading, she was always begging my siblings to read and creating summer programs for us.  For my summer reading program she forced me to challenge myself, so I had to read the classics, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice. I was sneaky and threw in a few not so classics, John Jakes North and South trilogy, The Thorn Birds, Gone with the Wind.  For every three classics I read and did a book report on I could get a new R.L. Stine book.  After nine classics in one summer I earned the cheerleader trilogy and devoured them in one night - the disappointment of all my hard work for one night of trashy reading stung.  Oddly enough, I still sort of do what my mom made me do that summer, if I read to much chic lit I have to mix in a classic or a history book, some real reading!
I cannot pick my all time favorite book - all sorts of books have resonated with me for all sorts of different reasons.  Some times a line in a beachy chic lit book can affect me as much as the greatest classic and other times a book perfectly captures my feelings at that moment in time.
In my late high school years Oprah introduced her book club, on the days she announced the new books or host the discussions I would race home from school trying to beat my little brother to the TV so he couldn't tune into Power Rangers first.  This is how I was introduced to one of my favorite books, She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

Paperback, 465 pages

Published June 28th 1998 by Pocket (first published August 1992)

original title
She's Come Undone

0671021001 (ISBN13: 9780671021009)

literary awards

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.

She's Come Undone introduced me to new genre, contemporary adult literature, it was fresh and exciting in a way that things I had previously read were not and Wally Lamb created compelling realistic characters who were not stereotyped or your typical heroines.  I loved it and took it everywhere I went using any second of free time to cram in a much as possible.  I took the book to Spanish class one day and my teacher was horrified that I was reading it and called my mother to find out if she knew what I was reading.  Oddly enough, my mom heavily censored what I watched on TV (no Beverly Hills 90210) but never what books I read (she let me read The Thorn Birds in 7th grade!)
Due to Senora Bernier's concern my mom read She's Come Undone when I had finished - she loved it! 
Delores resonated with me, we all struggled through adolescents, trying to figure out who we were and what our place was and trying to get the things we thought we wanted. Now as an adult I have probably read this book twenty times and each time Delores's struggles touch me more and more.  My paperback copy is held together with tape and I will never get rid of it. 
I continue to recommend She's Come Undone to people - nearly 20 years after I read it - its that good.  If you haven't read it yet, read it now! 


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