I started an account on Goodreads this week and I think I’m maybe a little obsessed. You can list the books you’ve read, the ones you’re reading, and the ones you’d like to read. It throws lists of recommendations at you and you just click them into the appropriate categories, including “not interested.” At the time I’m writing, I have 1,371 in my read pile and 72 in my want to read pile. I haven’t even really started to list my books, and I’m a little traumatized because they don’t seem to have all the Wildfire Y.A. books from the 80’s even listed, so it won’t ever be complete.
Really, if I could turn half of this energy towards cleaning my house I might invite people over more often. I picked up the The Manolo Matrix last week, companion to the The Givenchy Code (and, apparently, the The Prada Paradox, but I didn’t know this book existed and had to stop and add it to my shopping cart in Amazon.). The book is about people getting sucked into an online Gotcha!* kind of game called Play.Survive.Win. that moves from the computer into real life. The victims are sent elaborate clues & riddles to solve in order to save their lives and end the games. In the Givenchy Code, the clues related to codes and I think I had just read some Dan Brown book about codes, so I had some idea what in the world the clues were referencing, but in the Manolo Matrix all the clues were about the theater. I couldn’t even pretend to follow the reasoning behind the clues. It was like when I play old-school Trivial Pursuit and answer every sports question with Wayne Gretzky or Sea Biscuit. This strategy works pretty well, actually, to get that little pie wedge, but, strangely enough, the answer to every clue in this book was neither Cats nor Starlight Express**. Maybe in Prada Paradox the clues will be about Little Debbie's eponymous snack food line.
Julie Kenner also has an outstanding series of books under the Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom heading. They’re Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets married and moves to the suburbs, and they’re super funny and sly. And I see from her Wikipedia page that she lives in Texas, now, so I’m even happier to recommend her books. I also see that I haven’t entered the rest of her titles into my Goodread account, so I’ll be headed down that rabbit-hole for the rest of the night. Heaven forbid I not get credit for a book I’ve read.
*Gotcha is an awesome 1985 movie with Anthony Edwards where a campus-wide game of paintball gets real, y’all, when some spies need some secret information that Linda Fiorentino has planted on him. Mostly memorable because Czechoslovakian spy Sasha (Linda) is really CIA agent Cheryl from Pittsburgh and the weariness in her voice when she drops the (really, really bad) Czechoslovakian accent and says “Fine, it’s Cheryl.” in this beautifully flat voice, it’s the equivalent of coming home after work and taking your bra off.
**Starlight Express is about a train that comes to life. And the actors are on roller skates. And Wikipedia says, “It is the most popular musical show in Germany.” I don’t know why this wouldn't be the answer to every question about musical theater, do you?