Tag Archives: dorothy parker

Books (and authors) I couldn’t possibly live without

I admit I have a problem when it comes to books. Though my pasty skin can be mainly blamed on genetics, I’m sure my habit of reading for hours on end (inside or in the shade) contributes to my ghostly look. I also spend a lot on books, but I justify it to myself because I read most of them multiple times. I also like to decorate with books. But anyway.

I’ve been asked to give a short list of must-reads, so here are some books I’d drag with me to that desert island after the shipwreck (they would, of course, get priority on the plank of wood keeping me afloat. I can swim).

1. Everything Jane Austen wrote, but especially Pride and Prejudice, Northhanger Abbey, and her juvenalia (Lesley Castle, Lady Susan, Love and Freindship). And yes, it’s spelled that way on purpose.

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

4. Multiple works by Joyce Carol Oates – two of my favorites are Firefox and High Lonesome, a collection of short stories.

5. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

6. The Portable Dorothy Parker by, well, Dorothy Parker

7. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

8. Everything by Jasper Fforde

9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

10. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

What books could you never live without?

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Reading list

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties, by Marion Meade

Dorothy Parker is my literary/verbal hero. She can flash and plunge a verbal dagger that makes you laugh while you bleed. I don’t usually want to verbally wound people – unless they really deserve it – but I covet her ability to play with words. So when I stumbled across Meade’s biography of Parker (as well as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edna Ferber and Zelda Fitzgerald), I pounced. Continue reading

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Things to talk about

  • The Senate passed a financial regulation bill that will create a watchdog role in the Federal Reserve to prevent moneylending abuse. As someone who does not know much about economics, I am interested to see how this plays out.
  • The MTV animated series Daria is out on DVD. Squee!!! Slate discusses the evolution of the series, and how even the popular kids were portrayed with some semblance of compassion.
  • Mmmm, homemade pizza. Sometimes, something seemingly so simple can be much more complicated than it looks.
  • The New Yorker presents a look at the mistress of the witty comeback, Dorothy Parker.
  • A thief broke into the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris and stole about $125 million worth of paintings (five paintings, to be exact), including a Matisse and a Picasso. First: how did this guy get past the security system? It appears he broke a window. Think about that. Second: what do you do with stolen paintings? It’s not as if you can sell them – the art world is on the lookout. Quelle scandale!

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