I spend a lot of time discussing books with Anne Pace and thought we should do a blog post together. After much thought and a little discussion, we decided to talk about books that stick with us. This is a particularly fine topic for me right now as this will post on the last day of my Star Island vacation. Star is something that sticks with me. It’s frequently in my mind- since the day in 1977 when I first set foot on the island. It’s always there- an old friend- mostly unchanging and steady. Books generally change even less and there are some that just stick in your mind- popping up frequently- a steady, solid presence in your brain.
I’ll start off with two and turn it over to Anne for her thoughts.
Painted Moon by Karin Kallmaker. Every time I see certain types of art I think of this book. The descriptions of Leah’s art paint wonderful pictures in my mind. In the middle of a blizzard (four this winter) I think of this book. It’s a great escapist read- who wouldn’t want to be stranded in a cabin in a snowstorm with an attractive woman? Much nicer than being stranded in my office with innumerable tax returns. We get a cameo by these characters, too, a little peak into their older selves in Captain of Industry (did anyone think I wouldn’t mention COI?).
Never Too Late by Julie Blair. I love this story of second chance romance. Neither of the women is really looking for it. Both have younger decades of happiness and trials like many of us. They find each other again at the right time. It is the book that pops into my head when I think things aren’t going well or when I am in a place that feels uncertain. It brings to mind one of my favorite sayings “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” (This is also the phrase my daughter had written in Sharpie on the wall of her bedroom just low enough to be hidden by her bed- when you think the teenagers aren’t listening, they are. And toothpaste does remove Sharpie.)
I own about 500 lesbian fiction novels. I tend to forget stories after I’ve read them and I am the same with tv series and movies. This is great for rereads as the books feel new all over again. Some stories do stick, however. Some will linger on my mind long after I’ve read them, even when I’ve moved on to another book.
Shattered, by Lee Winter is one. The main character is an alien superhero who no longer wants to be a hero. A woman, a tracker, is sent to find her. This book raised ethical questions that left me thinking. Lee Winter wrote a clever and surprising story that made a lasting impression.
Crossing the Wide Forever, by Missouri Vaun monopolized my mind me while I was reading it and it stuck. Set in the nineteenth century, the story follows Cody and Lillie as they join forces on their journey out west. I had read and loved Jae’s masterpiece Backwards to Oregon and I was afraid it would be too similar, but it wasn’t. Why did this one stick? It surely has to do with the characters’ development and the feelings that slowly grew between them. The beautiful cover picture, drawn by the author, made Cody and Lillie even more real in my mind.
What are the books that keep popping up in your mind? The ones you can’t forget.