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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We're all out of Naomi Rye, I'm afraid. Challah!!

I'm not one for proclaiming something to be my favorite. Unless we're talking about Chocodiles.

In most every other case I struggle to come up with something and instead respond with something lame like, "I more like have favorites of every genre," and when pressed, I usually can't even do that. Favorite movie? I dunno. Give me a genre. Sci-fi? Aliens. No Blade Runner. No 5th Element. No Looper. Let's try a different one. Action? That's easy Die Hard. Or The Transporter. Or the Bourne Ultimatum. Musical? Don't even start with me. Romantic comedy? One Fine Day NEXT.

Anyway, that's why sometimes if you ask my favorite book, I say A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. But other times I say it's The Great Gatsby. And yeah guys, I know. That's easy. But people keep saying to write the Great American Novel and someone already did. Sorry about that.

For a while I thought it was because when we read it in high school I was the only one who laughed at the jokes and it made me feel ve-ry smug. And there's nothing a high school version of me liked more than being smug about things (I've changed so much!) But then I read it a couple years ago and guess what! Still pretty good. It's a good book. Here's what Hemingway said about him in A Moveable Feast:
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.
Anyway, I didn't read The Great Gatsby, like again again. Though I think I might. What I did read was Great by Sara Benincasa, who is a stand-up comedian and author of whom I have grown very fond. I read this article and it was really funny and inspiring (I just read it again and it gave me chills) and when she started talking about Great on Twitter I perked up. "I'll read more from her, regardless of topic." And then the topic was Great Gatsby but with teenaged girls. Basically she combined one of my favorite things with the most terrifying thing on earth.

I was committed, though, and I just finished it. Guess what? I liked it. Without getting too deep, I'll just say that the story follows the Great Gatsby pretty closely. Noami Rye visits her wealthy mom's world of super-rich sycophants and manages to have a pretty good time, actually. She gets sucked into a love triangle involving an obnoxious ex child actor, his beautiful girlfriend, and a mysterious new neighbor. She gets to flirt a little with the actor's aloof friend. They have fun banter. They're kinda nerds.
We talked about politics and history and lay around listening to NPR podcasts, our fingers entertwined. Once my mother walked in on us quizzing each other on SAT words in the living room in the middle of the night. 
There's sadness in these Hamptons, though. Especially in the face of one Jacinta Trimalchio
The girl stood up, facing the lake. The white light from the laptop screen lent her face an unearthly glow from below as she stretched out her arms toward the twinkling houselights in the distance. She held it for a long moment, like some yoga pose, just reaching and reaching for something I couldn't identify.
 So Naomi pals around with richest, most powerful people in New York, "full of fancy people who spend their days pretending, and their nights dreaming, that their pretense is real."

That's probably telling you enough, right? Here's the deal: if you liked that article I linked, you'll probably like Great. If you're a teenage girl or have been a teenage girl or knew some or wanted to know some in your teens you'll probably like it, too. Just have fun, you know? Life is fun.

Work was fun for me today. I counted deer poop, which sounds gross but wasn't cause I just pointed at a group of it and said, "one," and then "two," and so on thanks for listening.