Emma, Dexter and my Summer Book List
It’s Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. And it really, really is, non?
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess were photographed in Edinburgh this weekend working on One Day. Look at them them! They totally ARE! Jim’s hair. He’s gorgeous. Like so much. And Annie’s clothes, the way she looks in glasses, even her gait a little bit... I can see it now, and I love it.
As noted on a few previous occasions, One Day by David Nicholls is probably so far my favourite book of the summer. And yes overseas bitches, I know you’ve had it for a year, but One Day was only released at the end of June in North America. So you’re lucky and we’re behind. But we are all in love with a book about two people and their relationship over two decades seen through one day each year – the anniversary of their meeting.
Because they felt so real, because it’s like I knew them and still do, because it made me giddy and knotty in the stomach, and bored through some parts, and warm with familiarity through others, and really really sad, and mad, and so happy and above all so grateful for it like any true relationship and its emotional course.
Some are categorising One Day as a beach read. I guess it is if you mean quick, compelling, and easy. Easy however doesn’t mean unsophisticated and uncomplicated. It just doesn’t feel that way because Nicholls, a screenwriter, kinda wrote a movie. But, without revealing spoilers, Dexter’s charm combined with his self inflicted avalanche of disappointment and Emma’s predictable underdog likeability, undermined by her infuriatingly low expectations are parts of a character richness created by this author that elevate One Day from more than just lame chick lit to something much more resonant. Some would even argue that Emma and Dexter’s attributes and experiences were shared by a generation, and those of you who came of age in the 80s might agree – suddenly it all wasn’t enough: school was enough, trying wasn’t enough, confidence wasn’t enough...
Are love and hope enough? You have to read it to decide.
I’ve read One Day twice already, clutched it everywhere with me at one point because it’s so f-cking good. And now to see that, at the very least, the casting seems to make sense, with Lone Scherfig directing (An Education), it’s a relief that the film prospects are promising.
Other Summer Reading Recommendations:
Lucy by Laurence Gonzales - addictive, uncomfortable, heartbreaking, even if it’s not entirely plausible, there’s a message here that feels too true.
How did you get this number by Sloane Crosley – you want her name and roll your eyes at her name at the same time, right? But she can write like a motherf-cker, such a strong, true voice, and insightful, funny and poignant....I hate this bitch because she’s saying sh-t I want to say but she’s doing it the best.
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall – it’s brilliant and epic and f-cking hysterical, and even though this is a book about a pluralist family, their trials are universal; when life sucks, it’s always the same.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – you know I love YA fiction. And you will rip through this one – our girl is sweet and selfish and discovering herself and smart and stupid and the boys are hot and damaged and you’ll want one for yourself and there’s pain and loss told in a new way and so much vibrant youthful energy you’ll feel that age again, exactly what it’s like to be there and not at the same time.
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore – obviously a fake name and the real names are James Frey, don’t you know James Frey?, and Jobie Hughes and this comes out TOMORROW and everyone has been waiting. It’s the first in a new series called Lorien Legacies about 10 alien teens who escape to earth but are hunted by their enemies on our planet and they develop special abilities so they have to protect each other and the human race while out-strategising the bad guys. There is HUGE hype for the Lorien Legacies, many are pronouncing it the next major franchise after Harry Potter, the Hollywood version is already in production and the book isn’t even out yet... so we may be on the verge of yet another pop culture hit.
And of course there’s Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, the final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy due out at the end of the month. If you have not already please please read The Hunger Games and its sequel Catching Fire. You’ll be done in time for August 24th to conclude the story with the third.
Also if you haven’t yet read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro now is the time before the film is released in the fall. It’s the most beautifully written, most haunting story, you will go back to it again and again.
So Much For That by Lionel Shriver – because Shriver NEVER EVER sucks. And, um, this is no Jodi Picoult. Please.
Send me your recommendations too!
Photos from Splashnewsonline.com and Fame Pictures