Sometimes when I read reviews, I am irritated at the penchant some reviewers have for writing the phrase“pair this with,” another item that’s related in the reviewer’s mind. I find it irritating because I think the reviewer should just focus on the item that is the subject of the review instead of showing off their reading chops. So when things started pairing up at our Matchmakers’ meeting this morning, I was at first alarmed.
It started when Christina said she was reading The Shining as a prequel to reading Doctor Sleep. Then Irene shared what she’d been reading, A Thousand Acres which is based on King Lear. Raidene talked about The Road to Burgundy, the memoir of a man who takes a gamble on buying a vineyard and moving to France. She mentioned that it reminded her a of A Year in Provence and other books by Peter Mayle. It reminded me of a recent great fiction book I’d read about a couple who aims to move to Provence and finds it too pricey, so move to Languedoc instead; it’s called The Mouse Proof Kitchen. My own contribution to the discussion was a recommended memoir by a woman who has OCD, Amen Amen Amen; Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying; it was even better than the fascinating Devil in the Details; Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood, that I read a few years ago. Both take the reader inside the minds of victims of this absurd disorder and sympathetically present the herculean struggle to keep it at bay.
During a recent sojourn on her couch, Amy watched the beautiful and poignant movie, Ginger and Rosa directed by Sally Potter whom Amy admires. Amy named Orlando as another recommended movie by the same director. She warned that Ginger isn’t exactly uplifting, so I countered with The Kings of Summer about three teens who run away from home and build a house in the woods; I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at a movie, though it has some very moving moments as well. I might pair it with the heart-rending teen drama, Perks of Being a Wallflower and call the pairing, “laughing tears and crying tears.”
Next, Ellen recommended The Saffron Kitchen about an Iranian couple who moves to London, and, along with acclimating to a different culture, Maryam harbors dark secrets from her past that eventually threaten her relationship with her daughter. Dare we pair this with The Namesake, also about immigrants adapting to a new homeland and the difficult relationship with their American-born son? These two books also share the distinctions of having been exquisitely written and being good candidates for discussion.
Finally, our music librarian, Jenny recommended a hot new CD by the 16 year-old New Zealander prodigy, Lorde. The disc is called Pure Heroine. Jenny told us that Lorde has a bluesy, mature voice, and she’s been compared with the late, great Amy Winehouse.
This concludes the “Pair This with…” blog post. If you ask me, I think pairings fit blogs much better than reviews.