Judging books by their covers

I remember being twenty-five and all that mattered were what bands you were into, what books were displayed on your bookshelf, and what your life motto was. Those things defined us. Decided our compatibility with one another. They were our self-created book covers by which others judged us, and half the battle was discovering how true these things actually were about others. And even more so, figuring out how true these things were aboutourselves. Do I really like that American Analog Set band, or am I just saying I do because so-and-so likes them? And if so-and-so likes them and I like them too, then so-and-so will like me—nay, respect me. Right? (ie. Was Kafka’sMetamorphosis really that good, or does saying I liked Metamorphoses make me look smart even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I said I did?)

“Look at me! I’m an intellectual! And check out my diverse Indy CD collection!” Alas, I was never cool enough to have a record player and a box of old vinyls which would have undoubtedly put me on another level, but I digress. I guess what I’m getting at is that lately those old songs keep finding their way onto my playlist (I swear I keep updating my iPhone playlist, but it’s not as easy as only worrying about not effing up the songs on my iPod many years ago), and in turn I find myself evaluating my hypothetical “book cover” from years past.

So when The Postal Service comes on, I find it hard to remember why I liked them so much. Even (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) Radiohead doesn’t do it for me anymore. Instead I find myself listening to the Brick and Mortar station on I Heart Radio because Honeybadger don’t you know what. I no longer care about what’s cool and instead just like stuff because it jives with my personality. Makes my brain light up in the right places.

Here are some things that make my brain light up, and things that don’t.

  • Authors: Isaac Marion, Chuck Palahniuk (although I can’t get through Haunted and after a few books it’s inevitable that they all sort of start to sound the same), Erin Morgenstern whose in progress “slightly more book-shaped” novel is something I can’t wait to get my hands on! Ally Condie, Gillian Flynn (Dark Places rocked my world), Jeffrey Eugenides (I admit I’ve only read The Virgin Suicides and not Middlesex), Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling (the HP books but not The Casual Vacancy which I put down without finishing), Flannery O’Connor (god, her short stories are amazing!), and Suzanne Collins.
  • Books I’ve abandoned without finishing : Haunted, Ismael, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Casual Vacancy, Angelfall, The Poisonwood Bible, The Giver
  • Bands I currently like: The Hives, Masked Intruder, Riverboat Gamblers, Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio (the older stuff), The XX
  • Bands I used to love but can barely stand to hear anymore: Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Coldplay, Portishead, The Beta Band
  • Bands I used to think I liked (wanted to like) but in actuality probably never really did: Mates of State, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Bands I’ve been told I should love but I can’t stand: Sonic Youth, The Smiths, The Rolling Stones
  • Favorite TV Shows: Dexter (seasons 1 to 4 but after that it goes down hill—WAY down, but I own all the seasons on DVD anyway), Six Feet Under, Dead Like Me, The Joe Schmo Show (Season 1 only- Season 2 was terrible, terrible, terrible!), Breaking Bad, Mad Men (but what’s with the “on the next Mad Men” previews? Those never give us anything to work with), The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Orphan Black (but the boy clone in season 2 was a head scratcher), Band of Brothers (sooooo good!), House of Cards, Being Human, Orange is the New Black, Fargo, Face Off, Humans, and Homeland.
  • Other favorite things: I love horror and macabre/creepy chic things! ::evil laugh:: I also love the 40s era and the atomic era (Midcentury mod). I’m getting signs that I should write a horror novel:

So that’s my current “book cover”. For now. Judge away. 🙂


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