7-Day Book Challenge: Dear Fahrenheit 451

A recent text from my friend Lisa:

I bought you a gift.

We’re an odd couple, Lisa and me. She grew up in Miami, and I in Seattle. She is heat and wildfire and in-your-face and I am cool and rain and passive aggressive. She owns a pair of green leather pants and a bright yellow Mustang convertible. I wear a whole lot of denim and drive a tired Volkswagen Jetta. But there is no one on this planet I laugh harder with than Lisa, which is why we are friends.

The last surprise, no-obvious-reason-for-a-gift she gave me was a black belly-dancing bra covered with gold beads and sequins. Not because I belly dance (I don’t). But because I “needed it.” (I kinda did, but that’s fodder for another story, for another time.) So, I felt a little thrill of anticipation when I read her words. I never quite know what to expect from Lisa, which is one of my favorite things about her.

I think she may have clapped her hands in delight when handing me her gift:

I’m pretty sure I did when I saw it. “Oh, I want to read it right now!” I said.

“I know. I really debated when to give it to you. I thought about waiting until the end of our visit so you wouldn’t be distracted the whole time.”

I devoured about half the book in my first sitting, and now I’m doling it out to myself in little bits at a time. I love it because it is a book for those of us who love books. It’s not serious or weighty (something I sorely need these days), but some letters deliver a good, sharp punch. Really, the best word I can come up with for it is delightful–funny, poignant, witty, smart. It’s full of insider book nerd/librarian jokes, and while you might need to be a bit of the former to enjoy it, I don’t think you need to be the latter. It’s a book I wish I had thought to write (and then actually written), but I’m sure I couldn’t have written it as well as the author has.

While I love it for its own self, I know I love it even more because it was the most wonderful kind of gift: one given for no other reason than the giver saw it and knew the recipient should have it. Which means, of course, that the giver has already, in so many ways, truly seen the recipient. And what better gift is there than that–to be truly seen by someone you love?

Thanks, Lisa.

(This was written in response to a Facebook challenge to post photos of the covers of 7 favorite books in 7 days with no commentary. Clearly, I’ve broken the no commentary rule–shocker! I’m not as compliant as I once was and tend not to follow rules that seem arbitrary. Who says the 7 days have to be in a row? And why 7? Not sure how many I’ll do. Feel free to nominate yourself for the challenge.)

 

 

13 thoughts on “7-Day Book Challenge: Dear Fahrenheit 451

  1. Erin says:

    I read this one too and enjoyed it. I read Gold Fame Citrus based on her recommendation in the book, and I’m so curious to hear other people’s thoughts on it. (I’ve never loved the first part of a book so much and hated the rest of it so much.)

  2. Marian says:

    Love the book’s cover 🙂 .
    That one is actually on my long TBR list, but I feel like I need to get more titles checked off before tackling it — I would hate to read it and NOT be able to catch enough of the “insider book nerd” jokes. (It just occurred to me that someone should draw up a comprehensive list of all the books she mentions, just so her future readers can Be Prepared.)
    🙂

    • Rita says:

      I like the cover, too. For whatever it’s worth, I haven’t read all the books she’s writing about. I think if you have some awareness of what they are about, you’ll get most of what she’s saying. I think you should read it because it will make you laugh (and laughing is good for you!). 🙂

  3. Kate says:

    Oh…gifts that make you feel known are the absolute best. Lisa sounds a treat!! I’m glad you have her. And I’m glad you shared that book! I must look it up!!

  4. Shannon says:

    I love this delightful little glimpse into your friendship. I’m glad you have a friend like, Lisa. I’ve not heard of this book before, but coincidentally, I did just read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time this summer. ha!

    • Shannon says:

      Also, the fact that I inserted an errant comma before Lisa in that second sentence will now haunt my dreams. *repeating to myself* I am not perfect. I am tired. And I am not perfect. 😉

    • Rita says:

      I am so glad that I have a friend like Lisa, too! Everyone should. 🙂 And I’m glad you read Fahrenheit. I first read it back in high school. (Not for school. It was just a book I was interested in.) I haven’t read it in years. I’d kind of like to re-read it, to see how it’s held up, but I’m afraid it might hit too close to home right now.

  5. May says:

    I read this one last spring. I enjoyed day dreaming of which books I would have included if I had been brilliant enough to think of writing the book first! It also got me thinking about how closely tied certain books are to their corresponding generation. That took me on a long journey down Memory Lane reminiscing about Johnathan Livingston Seagull, Brian’s Song, and Death Be Not Proud. It seemed like everyone I knew read these books—at least the girls. It strikes me now we were a fairly morbid bunch, but more likely we were just trying to find our place in time.
    Another thing this book did was to motivate me to read Farenheit 451 which I had neglected to do for far too long. Read it this summer and loved it. Well, loved it at those moments when it foresight wasn’t shaking me to my core!

    • Rita says:

      Wow, those book titles take me back. You were just a bit older than me–I remember all three, but I was a little too young for them. I really wanted to stay up to watch Brian’s Song when they made a TV movie out of it, but it was on past my bedtime and my mom wouldn’t let me! I did read Death Be Not Proud, but later when I was in junior high or high school. I think morbid books were still popular when I hit that stage, too. Lisa, Bright and Dark and Go Ask Alice were both high on our list of must-read titles. Maybe adolescents just need to experience that for some reason? Maybe they were cautionary tales for us? I am not sure.

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