I finished Wolf Hall. I did not want that book to end. Ever. Intellectually I know that Tudor England was not a good time for women, but oh how I’d like to live in that book. And maybe marry Thomas Cromwell. I know that the second book in Hilary Mantel’s series, Bring Up the Bodies, doesn’t have such a pro-Cromwell slant, and the guy was a total jerk, but whatever. He’s really wonderful for the first 3/4’s of the novel.

There are some books I’m able to read as a reader, and some books I can read as a writer and others I read as a book critic/bookseller. I think the book determines how I’m going to read it. Wolf Hall I read as a giddy 14-year-old. When I was 14, all of my friends loved Holden Caulfield. I read Catcher in the Rye and thought it was meh. I couldn’t understand why anyone would love Holden and think he’d be anything to hang out with. I was much more into Hemingway’s narrators, in particular Jake from The Sun Also Rises. I think the bullfighting is what dragged me in. And then I read The Virgin Suicides and I thought Lux was just about the greatest character who ever lived and I wanted to be her. This is probably the best glimpse into my inner workings as any.

Other characters that stand out for me: Heathcliff: abusive jerk, not at all hot. Mr. Darcy: The man all other men will be compared to. Ruby Lennox: I’d create a bracelet that read WWRLD (what would Ruby Lennox do). Harry Bosch: Yes, please let’s watch the lights of LA. Beryl Markham: A real person. Look her up if you want to be inspired to kick some major butt. And, of course, Elizabeth and Jessica: Why didn’t I ever have a sister?!

I’ve just started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. So far, I dislike it. It’s gotten a ton of great reviews, but UGH, both characters are so irritating. I can read irritating characters, but these are just…yuck. I’m only about 15 pages in, so I’m going to persevere. But just ugh. They better get less annoying. And fast.

Who’s your favorite character?

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