Welcome to “I AM READING THIS SO HARD RIGHT NOW”
In this segment, I will be sharing spoiler-free notable quotables on books I am loving the hell out of. I don’t like writing summaries–I’d rather watch paint dry. I’d rather go to the dentist and then do a bunch of laundry and then go get my ID renewed at the DMV. I just want to share snippets to get you hooked and reading, too.
Check it out! Sometimes I read Adult literature too!
I put Sweet Like Sugar on hold because it just won the Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award. According to ALA, the Stonewall Book Awards are given to “English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.” I want to read as many of the winners as I can.
After looking at Wayne Hoffman‘s website, I realized how much this book has accomplished thus far. I always feel like I’m somehow cheating when I’m not reading Children’s or YA lit, but this book is too riveting to put down. I’m not quite sure where it’s going yet, but I cannot wait to find out.
Here’s a little taste:
I remembered a Purim from many years before.
I was seven years old and crying.
We were supposed to show up for Hebrew school in costumes. Ideally, they should have been relevant to the holiday, a sort of masquerade based on the Book of Esther. But kids who attended Congregation Beth Shalom of Rockville, Maryland, weren’t so hung up on biblical authenticity. They were planning to come as Batman or the Littler Mermaid or miniature Washington Redskins.
My mother laid out a clown costume for me, complete with baggy orange pants and yellow suspenders, and a red ball to stick on the end of my nose. I was not having it.
My sister, Rachel, was already eleven, and sixth graders didn’t have to put on stupid costumes anymore. But they’d be performing the annual Purim play for the whole school, and she was playing the lead, so Rachel dressed up as Queen Esther…
…Rachel looked like a grown woman…My mother stepped back and told her that she looked beautiful.
Nobody was paying attention to me. I stood pouting in the doorway of the bathroom, where they were fixing Rachel’s hair. “I want to be Queen Esther, too,” I insisted.
“You mean you want to be King Ahasuerus,” Rachel spat at me without even turning away from the mirror. “Boys can’t be queens.” She didn’t look so beautiful anymore.
“No, I want to be Queen Esther,” I repeated.
Rachel put down her hairbrush. “That is so queer.”
I started to bawl.
~~Sweet Like Sugar, by Wayne Hoffman, pages 25-26
Ugh. I honestly wish I could post the rest of the chapter, because it almost made me cry on the subway. So just go and buy it or put it on hold, already. You don’t have to be gay or Jewish to appreciate how poignantly written this novel is. It’s keeping me from my work, and I don’t care.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid