Friday, July 16, 2010

The Best Book You've Never Read, First Edition

While I was moving paperbacks around, changing shelving, I realized that some of my most-favoritest books haven't been read...recently.

I'm not going to admit how long it's been since they were first popular, because that would mean admitting exactly how much time has passed since my high school days. It really hasn't been that long, but it has been long enough that I don't want to have to count the years. I don't want to get depressed. I have a birthday coming up, and that isn't the time to wax nostalgic about how I am basically a wizened crone.

All I need are a dozen or so cats, really. Then the image would be complete.

As I thought about my birthday, I remembered an awesome book, a book which involved the end of the world. The world, I must add, was scheduled to end on my birthday. At least in this novel.

Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville scheduled the end of the world on my birthday, July 27, 2000. Really. Well, they wrote it. Reverend Beelson is the one who said it. Teenagers Jed and Marina, brought into Reverend Beelson's cult by their fanatical parents, are forced to reassess their own beliefs as they prepare for The End of the World. Which also happens to be Marina's 14th birthday.

I loved this book when I was in high school. Not just because of the birthday thing, though that was a plus, but because Yolen and Coville created a suspenseful page-turner with DEPTH. That's really rare. It gets you thinking about philosophy, how our faith impacts our views of reality, and how love and friendship changes our lives.

On top of all that, you can pick this up, put it down, or read it all in one sitting. It's the perfect summer read!

As I become more and more decrepit, my hair thinning and turning white, liver spots randomly appearing, my voice growing raspy and frail, I will think of more great books from back in my day that you might have missed. Provided I live that long.* And that my memory holds out...

*Despite her varied complaints, whines, and false assertions, Laura remains young. Ish. Also, she is in realitively good health, aside from allergies. So no worries. In addition, she feels that her birthday would be a crummy time for the world to end, though her birth may have been some kind of portent announcing the end of all. We'll just have to wait and see.

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