The Best of Everything

Tuesday, December 15, 2009



Today's book, "When it was first published in 1958, Rona Jaffe's debut novel electrified readers who saw themselves reflected in its story of five young employees of a New York publishing company. There's Ivy League Caroline, who dreams of graduating from the typing pool to an editor's office; naive country girl April, who within months of hitting town reinvents herself as the woman every man wants on his arm; Gregg, the free-spirit actress with a secret yearning for domesticity."

Retro thoughts:

  • Perhaps it's just that today's book takes place during one of my favorite time periods - the 50s - but I loved it! I do tend to get totally sucked into any book that takes place in the 40s and 50s and judge it by different standards. But, even removing the time period from the equation, I still really enjoyed the book. My favorite part: the main character, Caroline. I felt an instantly connection to the character - which is something that happened to me regularly as a child, but hasn't happened as frequently since I got past the age of twelve.

  • The author of today's book mentions in the introduction that she was approached by Hollywood producer Jerry Wald, who was looking for a modern-day Kitty Foyle - but she quickly read the book, hated it, and decided that she could do better. I read Kitty Foyle a few months ago for the blog and while I didn't hate the book (in fact, I kind of liked it), I do agree that the author of today's book was able to do a much better job. I learned while reading today's book that like Kitty Foyle, the book was made into a movie. So now I think we all know what I'm going to be wasting ridiculous amounts of time doing on the Internet when I'm done writing today's entry.

  • Today's book included the thing that I always hope for in old books, talk of money. I know talking about money is supposed to be very bad manners, but I just can't get enough of the characters in old books talking about how exciting it is to be earning $50 a week! It reminds me of my all-time favorite line from Homefront, "I'll never be a $10,000 a year man."

  • And now time for an extremely shallow and totally pointless thought: One of the characters in the book was named Miss. Farrow and I spent the entire book trying to force my brain to read her name as Miss. Farrow. But my brain continued to protest and insist on reading it as Mia Farrow. After fifty pages I decided to just stop fighting it, because trying to force my brain to behave like a brain that hasn't been fed a steady diet of celebrity gossip for the last twenty years became futile. It was slowing me down. So I decided to just embrace it. So basically I've started to treat my brain like a child that's so bratty its own parents are afraid of it.