Booking Through Thursday: 24 January 08

Rather than chastise myself yet again for not having the Uverse guys restring the house with Cat5e cable while they were here in October, I thought I’d answer this week’s question from Booking Through Thursday. It’s technically not Thursday any more, but I won’t tell if you don’t. Deal?

They ask:

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

I think my answers would be Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, Outside Lies Magic, by John Stilgoe, neither of which are fiction. The first is a series of essays about living in Paris as an American with a young child, the second is about finding the extraordinary in ordinary things – like the way a picket fence becomes “invisible” if you ride past it on a bike at just the right speed.

In fiction, I’d have to recommend the novel Mothers by Jax Peters Lowell, which is about Claire, a photographer, and Theo, a caterer/chef, two women who fall in love and raise a child in New York in the early sixties and seventies. I bought it because I liked the picture on the front, and I think it was on the $5 table. I’ve reread it because it has everything a good novel needs to have to make it a comfort book for me: romance, strong women characters, food, art, and scenes at the beach. I would have liked to grow up with Claire and Theo as parents.