Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Litmus Test



To each, his own.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

That's why there are 31 flavors to choose from.


We all know that our tastes and opinions are unique. There is no other person on earth who shares all of our likes....in film and fashion and home decor.....and books.

Even certain things that seem like a given--EVERYONE likes vanilla ice-cream!--are not set in stone. There are folks who hate vanilla ice-cream. Even though it seems classic, simple, delicious, as though it should be universally loved.

But that's just not the case.

It's not that surprising that certain books we love and cherish are not loved and cherished by all of our colleagues, friends, neighbors, family.

But I bet most of us have one book, maybe more than one, that we use as a litmus test.

It's....THE one. The one that is most special to you. The one that embodies everything you truly love about romance...your perfect hero, your perfect heroine, your perfect story, your perfect everything.

The folks who adore that book know something about you. About who you are, what you believe in. They get you. They're on the same page of life.

And the folks who don't get that book.....

Well, maybe you look at them a little bit differently. Not that you don't like or respect them. But you realize that you're not really on the same page. If they don't get that book, then.....they don't get you.

Your sense of humor.

Your quirks, your eccentricities.

Your belief in love. Your belief in romance. Your belief in happy endings.

Our favorite books reveal something about ourselves. Why we are reading romance in the first place. What we need. Comfort, reassurance, hope, inspiration, sex.

I have a book that's my litmus test. It's Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger. This book is not a normal "romance" novel by any means. It's actually a M/M story, which is not my typical read.

It's funky, it's quirky, it's weird, it's hilarious. It's unexpected. It has yin and yang. Balance. Hope. Pop culture references. Some of the funniest dialogue I've ever seen in a book.

It has a happy ending.

This book....is ME. I'm weird and quirky. I'll all about yin and yang. I'm about the happy ending.

I still remember who recommended this book to me. I respect her opinions on everything. Because anyone who gets this book is totally on my same page. Anyone who gets this book.....gets me.

Not everyone likes this book, of course. It has a funky structure, it takes a while to get into, it has a very strong voice. But it is my litmus test.

I'm thinking that most people have a litmus test. That one book that is you. That embodies everything you love about reading. It could be a classic, like Jane Eyre. It could be something controversial. It could be anything, really.

It's your litmus test. When you hear someone say...."That book changed my life. That book was the greatest thing I ever read. That book is....THE ONE"---you know you've found a kindred spirit.

I think we all have a litmus test book.

What's yours?

Penny

6 comments:

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I have to read that book. I've heard you talk about it. Mine? Jane Eyre. But if we're talking contemporary romance, Kill and Tell by Linda Howard. My two books.
Oh, and I hate ice cream, but if I had to eat ice cream, only homemade vanilla would do.

Penelope said...

I've read a couple of books by Linda Howard, but not that one. Going to add it to my TBR pile right now! I also love vanilla ice-cream!

heidenkind said...

I love vanilla ice cream! Hagen Daz Five vanilla is the best thing ever.

Hm, this is tough question. Jane Eyre is by far my favorite book ever, but I'm not sure if someone said they didn't like it I'd be like "YOU HAVE NO SOUL." I'd probably just be like, "You're a [redacted] idiot... who has no soul." (Okay, so maybe I would do that.)

Penelope said...

hee hee.....not sure I would accuse someone of having no soul, or even bad taste (well....except Paris Hilton or something)....but just not being on my same page....for example, for some strange reason, not everyone loves Britney. I know...it's strange.

:^)

Dead Trees and Silver Screens said...

For me, it is Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter, and Hitchiker's Guide the Galaxy. I have varied taste as you can tell. :->

http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/

Penelope said...

Hi Dead Trees! Gone with the Wind is on my list, too....I have gotten into some big "discussions" with other folks about Scarlett. :^)