July Sharky Awards

In my ever-evolving quest to recognize the books that I read and enjoy (but without writing reviews (because I am terrible at that)), I give out awards that highlight some of my favorite things about the books I’ve read over the past month. And since my bookmark is a shark–a bookshark, if you will–I call them the Sharkys. Here we go.

Most Haunting
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender
I’d been meaning to read this one for years, but I couldn’t tell you why. I think I’d heard that it was good, but I don’t remember from who, and I didn’t know much about the story before I dove in. (Is there anyone else out there who prefers it that way? I hardly ever read book jackets or summaries before I start a book, so terrified am I of spoilers. I suppose in this sense, I literally do judge a book by its cover. I’M SUCH A CLICHÉ.) And I imagine that this book would not strike a chord with everyone, but man, with me it struck a chord that I didn’t know I needed struck. The story itself is a long, slow burn, with a small but jarring reveal at first (when the main character eats food, she can taste the emotions of the person who made it), then a second mystery that only reveals itself in tiny glimpses along the way. Likewise, my attitude towards it also changed in tiny increments as I went on: I first thought it was weird, boring, meh…then creepy, depressing, disturbing…and by the time I finished, it had graduated all the way to Haunting with a capital Letter. It even went so far as to unlock the Full Body Goosebumps Achievement with its very last line, a rare reading perk that I constantly covet. Good, good stuff.

Worst Time For A Flight Attendant To Make a Loud, Lengthy Announcement
During my reading of the last page of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Could you not see that I was having a meaningful literary moment, lady? I know the list of connecting flights was extensive, what about my needs? THEY DON’T START AND END WITH A BAG OF PEANUTS.

Best Epiphany Involving a Seemingly Pointless Mode of Transportation
The moving sidewalks in airports
…actually do come in handy when you have exactly one minute to get to that connecting flight gate that’s three minutes away that, okay, thankfully, the flight attendant announced ahead of time. They also function nicely as a super-fast runway show, displaying to all of the other fliers what a disgusting, high-speed mess of a traveler (and runner) you are.

Worst Reason to Tear Through An Airport Like A Rabid Bat
To catch a flight that will end up being delayed for another twenty minutes.
You know what’s fun? Taking a sweaty seat on an airplane, gulping down breath after breath of recirculated air, only to receive the announcement that the pilot hasn’t arrived yet from his connection. Pilots, it turns out, are too damn high and mighty to sprint down a moving sidewalk at speeds that would knock down a small child. Something about dignity, I guess?

Whatever. I stole the Skymall.


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