It’s Listopia time, and I’ve decided to forgo the top ten Tuesday topic of wishing more or less for something in a book. To be honest, I wish for something different in many books, but not all can be narrowed to one specific thing, so I’m sharing my wish list for books I would like my book club to read. Some of the wish books haven’t yet released, so it gives the book club selections to cover the next few months. Others on the list are several years old. Do you have a book club? Have you or your club read any of these books? What are some of your book club picks?
Don’t forget to read the first paragraph of the prologue and first chapter below from the book I’m currently reading.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I received The Animators in my quarterly subscription box, and it’s not one I would pick for myself. I’m giving it second try from the beginning because I wasn’t completely focused on the story and kept putting it down. It had several post-it notes attached to several pages in each chapter; the notes were written by the author. I’m not sure that I want to read the notes as I read, and it seems to slow my reading pace because they are blocking the pages. This is certainly a deterrent for me.
AT A GLANCE
She was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever.
In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.
Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.
A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.
Prologue: Introduction to Sketch
Introduction to Sketch was held in Prebble Hall, a building Professor McIntosh called “Ballister’s dirtiest secret” during our first class. Prebble was an ancient, pipe-clanking fortress on the edge of campus with heating problems, leaky ceilings, and those 1930s wall radiators we used to melt crayons on in grade school. “You pay fifty thousand dollars a year to attend this institution,” he said, “and they stick you n a hovel for four years. It’s because they hate art.”
Chapter 1: Our Filthy Dirty Party
We’re hiding in the powder room at the St. Regis Hotel. This is what working in what amounts to a rat’s nest for the past decade has done to us, I think, looking at our reflections in the mirror. Ten years in a piece-of-crap studio in the armpit of Bushwick with full view-and-sound of the JMZ train, giving ourselves humpbacks craning over our drafting tables, Camels drooping from our mouths, passing expired packages of Peeps back and forth in the dark. The work has made me forget how to act like a person. We’re not fit to go out and socialize with the fancy people, all Cheetos-stained hands and dilated pupils.