July 8th, 2009


100 Books That Rocked My World, 2009 Edition.

So last year, Entertainment Weekly decided to rank "the new classics," and made lists of the "100 Most Influential" bits of various media in the last few decades. They had a list of movies, a list of books, a list of TV series, and so on. This, naturally, made me think, because their list looked absolutely nothing like mine would. I promptly took umbrage, as I am wont to do, and made my own list of books that influenced and informed my reality. That was a year ago. Things can change considerably, in a year.

You know what comes next.

Books on this list aren't necessarily high literature; they're not necessarily classics; they're not even necessarily particularly good, although I think the bulk of them are. They're just the books that combined to construct a me. They are, in short, not the books I was supposed to fall in love with; just the ones that I did.

Your list will probably be drastically different. You may still want to take a look at mine. You might just find a few things that will surprise you.

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For we shall be wicked, and we shall be fair...

...and they'll call us such names, and we really won't care:

talkstowolves has made "Wicked Girls" icons with some of my favorite wicked girls. She's even written a lovely treatise on the source of the phrase "wicked girls saving ourselves," from Mia's original pendant, to her request for a song (during one of my crazy party game phases), to the song itself. It's a glorious evolution, and it makes me ecstatically happy to watch it.

What's especially glorious is that she really gets the song, and the fact that all the girls with actual verses—not the girls in the bridge, of whom she is one, making her sweet word-wine for all of us; the verse girls, the ones who failed—are there as cautionary tales. Dorothy, Alice, Wendy, Jane...they didn't save themselves. To be a girl in a verse is, by definition, to have failed at the goal we're setting ourselves. We remember their names because we have to honor our fallen, but they're the patron saint priestesses of all the lost girls who got found, and they didn't break the chains that bound them.

The rest of us, the Deborahs and the Mias, and the Mandys and the Kaias, and all the other bridge-girls who've taken their turns (and will in the future), we're the ones who still have a chance to be determined. We're going to get out.

Just watch.