The wanderings of a book-tart
Last month I went temporarily insane and took part in a charity run. While I managed to not die or fall over for 10 kilometres, I still sweated more than is reasonable and felt a bit vomity. I was also insulted by a stranger. When I was running, half-dead (as achievement in itself) out of Regent's Park a greasy-haired leather jacket man (I'm not actually sure what he looked like - I had sweated into my own eyes) walked past and coughed 'rough!' to his friend. I would have gone red from anger, if I wasn't already red from moving. I wanted to chase after him and shout I WASN'T TRYING TO LOOK ATTRACTIVE YOU MORON, I DON'T PUT ON A RED FACE AND A LAYER OF SWEAT WHEN I WANT TO LOOK NICE.
Things weren't improved when the charity run pictures were sent round and in mine it looks like my face had melted.
Obviously I'm over it now and I don't sit and imagine beating the man round the head with my trainers and leaving him to drown in a pool of my sweat (I DO). So I needed cheering up, and I thought what better way than to go on some book dates? This means reading books and fancying the characters, which is nice and means I can have five boyfriends and not be known as a scarlet woman or slut. So I have gathered five book boys together for you (you can see my ex-book-boyfriends here and here) and I hope you enjoy my wanderings of a book-tart.
1. Coop from Swim the Fly and Beat the Band by Don Calame
Swim the Fly is a vair vair hilare book and you can read my rave review here. Or other people's rave reviews on lots of sites (if you feel like being traitorous). It is about a three boys whose summer challenge is to see a real, live naked girl. (I am glad they specify she needs to be real and live - otherwise it would be a bit of an odd challenge...) and Coop is the Jay Inbetweeners or Stifler of the group. He is blunt and a bit disgusting, and, like Jay, you can't help laughing at what he says, despite him being a bit horrible. And you also suspect that deep down, he is probably not that confident and quite sweet. Well, we shall find out in Beat the Band, which is the sequel to Swim the Fly and is told from Coop's point of view.
2. Ezra from The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner
You can read my review of the beautiful and unusual The Double Shadow here and author Sally Gardner will be stopping by on her Double Shadows blog tour on November 16th. Amaryllis is trapped in a memory machine, invented by her father to keep her safe from growing up in the horror of the Second World War. But instead of a haven, the machine is a prison and she is locked in a series of memories playing on a loop, unsure what is real and unable to remember anything of her old life. Except the cake boy. The cake boy is Ezra and he is lovely. He is sweet and kind, brave and nice to his mum, while also being the hero of the book. Ezra is the cook's son and forced to take lessons with daughter of the house, Amaryllis, who is mean to him before she realises he might actually be lovely. Once she is trapped inside the memory machine, Ezra is the one person on the outside that can save her. Lovely lovely Ezra.
3. Roger from Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I've also reviewed this one (I am a review tart as well as a book tart). I reviewed it on the fab & wonderful Armadillo Magazine. Roger is a family friend who helps Amy to drive her mum's car West Coast to East Coast America. In case your general knowledge is as poor as mine, that is ACTUALLY REALLY FAR AND TAKES DAYS. You feel like you spend a week in the back seat peeping at them while they get to know each other (that wasn't supposed to sound as pervy as it did). You find out lots of cute details about Roger, like that he's embarrassed about wearing driving glasses, always picks explorers for games of 20 questions and he likes making playlists of lots of bands I haven't heard of because I'm not cool. He can take me for a road trip across America any time... I don't think that's even an innuendo for anything.
4. Louie from The 10pm Question by Kate de Goldi
You must read The 10pm Question. You must. It is funny and sad and perfectly written. It's about Frankie, who worries about everything, but mostly his Ma, who doesn't leave the house. Every night at 10pm he goes to her room to tell her what is on his mind. He has a hilarious family including three large aunts and a sister who is occasionally nice to him but mostly tells him to bugger off. I nearly went for Frankie's dad, Uncle G, for my book date purely because the detail that he likes to walk around the house in a t-shirt that stops just above his genitals made me laugh so much. But in the end I went for Louie, Frankie's brother. Louie is a bit of a charmer - he's always full of money-making schemes, and has a job that seems to just involve him driving a van round and flirting with lots of women. He buys Frankie a skull as a present, which made me love him more, although I'm not sure why. He can buy me a skull any day.
5. Angelo from David by Mary Hoffman
You'd think a book date from Mary Hoffman's David-land would involve Gabriele, the (fictional) model for Michaelangelo's David. He is, judging by the stone version, very handsome and turns lots of heads in fifteenth-century Florence. But he also turns his own head and gets flattered by all the attention, and is also easily drawn in by both sides of the warring factions in the city. It's a fantastic study of what the model for David could have been like, but in terms of fancying I found the man posing naked with
cauliflowers and mops (props for Goliath's head) less attractive than the man who was sculpting stuff out of stone.
(Michael)Angelo is also older and has a broken nose and probably definitely looks a bit like Javier Bardem. Also, I've technically already seen Gabriele naked, which is a bit much for a first book date and I do not like to subject my readers to lewdness, thank you. If you'll put aside Uncle G's genitals. Which is a nice image to leave you on.