Tag Archives: Literary Memoir

Books, Cats, and Crazy, Vol. 2


Hook is one of my all-time favorite movies, as is Finding Neverland, because they deepen the story of one of my favorite childhood books, Peter Pan.

A good literary memoir makes me giddy. Why Laura Miller! You love Narnia too? Of course I will buy the full-price hard-baked edition of your memoir The Magician’s Book! Even memoirs about books that were not necessarily my favorites (like Wendy McClure’s The Wilder Life about the Little House on the Prairie series), or  about books I’ve never read at all (I’ve never touched Sophie’s Choice, but I have every intention checking out Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron) make my heart all aflutter.

And I believe I have professed before that Alice in Wonderland is one of my enduring favorites, yes? I love Alice, and all things Alice. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Another Alice-themed book I recently picked up is ArchEnemy, the last book in Frank Beddor’s trilogy, The Looking Glass Wars. When my friend loaned me the first book in this series, I was instantly thrilled. A book that played out the presupposition that Wonderland was real? Yes, please! But it wasn’t in any of the ways you would think. Alice is really Princess Alyss Heart, and her mother is the queen of Wonderland, the White Queen. The character we know as the Red Queen was really Alyss’s evil Aunt Redd who would stop at nothing to take the throne from her sister. Here, looking Glasses are of utmost importance because they are a means of transportation, and the Mad Hatter is not a crazy man, he’s Hatter Madigan, a talented, deadly, and loyal guard to the queen. The wonders and parallels go on and on, and I was completely sucked in. It was like a literary dream come true, a chance for me to continue and expand my love of the Wonderland Universe.

What about you? I know that there have been expansions on other classics, most notably the 9,430 spin offs of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but if you could snap your fingers and have the continuation or new take on any of your favorite classics at your fingertips, what would it be? Have you found any classic-inspired books, like Beddor’s trilogy, or literary memoirs that are truly phenomenal?


Just a little update to let you all know that Queen Cambria is fine. Crisis averted, thankfully. (Although I did have a crisis trying to get Cambria actually into the crate. Apparently she’s still mad about the day and a half she had to spend in it while we moved, because the little nerdface tried to bite me!) Her sneezes have all but stopped now, and the vet is fairly certain it was just allergies. She certainly hasn’t changed at all. She’s just as cute and entitled as ever.

"Oh. Am Ai in de ways? Where you using dis?"


There are three things loaded in the crazy chute right now. I’ll try to fire them gently.

    1. I am completely convinced that the mirrors in the Target fitting rooms are slightly concave to make one look chubbier than one looks anywhere else in the world.  Seriously, Target, I know I have a little extra to love, but I still have a figure. Only in your dressing rooms do I look like a cupcake wearing glasses.

      The fattest mirror in America. And a cute dress I tried on. Ironically, I do not look so much like a cupcake when I step back far enough to take a picture. Tricky, Target. Tricky.

    2.  I should never be allowed to feel clever more than once a day because when I do I start to feel brazen, and when I get brazen I do things like get my self lost. Or more appropriate to this situation, I do things like know exactly where I am but not know how to get to where I need to be because of all the one-way roads that do not alternate like one would assume. Anyway, all of this is to say that yesterday, while I was driving all over creation trying to find groceries and then my parking garage, I realized that I have a new fear: I’m terrified of ending up in Tijuana if I drive south by myself. I’m not good with directions. (I once left Charlotte, NC, heading towards Greenville, SC, and wound up in Columbia, SC instead…a whole two hours southeast of Greenville. I still don’t know how it happened. )

      Exhibit A: Getting lost driving to my home from a place I'd been to before.

      I’m afraid I’ll miss my exit. What would happen? Could I get back in with just my license? Would I need a passport? (Note to self: Google this.) What if my phone dies and I can’t call Tyler? I couldn’t call him from a payphone because I don’t have his number memorized. Should I write it down on a piece of paper and stick it in my walled just in case? All I know is that I envision myself being stuck in a border patrol check point being interrogated for hours because they don’t believe any housewife could be this dumb. “What do you mean you didn’t know you were in Mexico? Didn’t the fence and the big sign give you a hint? What do you mean you can’t call your husband because the only number you know is your mom’s? How old are you again?” It’s okay though, because this has any easy solution: I’m never going to drive south of downtown alone. I’ll take Tyler with me, since clearly he’s the voice of reason in this marriage. Ans this way if we do get stuck in Tijuana I won’t have to worry about knowing his number, I can just have a melt down right there and let him figure it out.

    3. I’ve still been thinking about the hipster issue, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a hipster, but I am. It goes like this: if being a hipster is about being undefinable, unexpected and edgy, wouldn’t the most hipster thing you could do be to be the anti-hipster? Since I apparently resemble a hipster more than not, and intentional hippsterality isn’t actually as purely hipster as the on-purpose hipsters seem to thing it is, then I fall on the side of a non-hipster. Which means that if you’re not a hipster, you are, and if you are a hipster, you’re not, which makes you a hipster again. So no one is a hipster, but we all are, making hipsters completely irrelevant. Ta-da! My philosophy professor would be so proud. Or confused.

And so there you have it. Target says I’m a cupcake, and to make matters worse I only know my mom’s number, so if I get lost I’m in big trouble a: because my mom’s in Ohio, and b: because no one wants to help a crying hipster cupcake; my cat doesn’t sneeze anymore but she does sit on whatever I’m trying to use at the moment; and you, dear friends, if you have stuck with me this long, should not forget to tell me about your favorite classics-inspired books and literary memoirs so I can read them.



Filed under Books, Cats, Odds and Ends