In exactly five days I will be moving. It’s going to be a long day and it’s going to be hard work (next time I’m getting a moving company. I’m too weak to lift that many boxes) but the one thing that I’m looking forward to about the whole packing deal is unpacking.
First because it means that we’re all moved in and can stop worrying about every little thing that needs to be done. Like setting up internet, gas, cable, electric, and all those other not-fun things that are necessary for living but a pain in the ass to deal with. Second, because I get to see all of the books I haven’t read in years, or have never read, and make sure they’re on my to-read(-again) list.
It’s crazy going through all of my books because I have A LOT of books. Four bookshelves had to be packed up, and in-between I’ve found even more books lurking in odd places. So today, friends, we’re going to go through a bit of the books I’ve found.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem – Jillian Lauren.
This was one of the first books that I read as a young adult that really sparked my love of reading. The book was published in 2010 when I was nearly done with school. As a kid who had been badly bullied and ridiculed, and made to think that I was inferior for being a plus sized woman. I want to be clear on that though: I was bullied for being bigger – I’m a size 18, and at the time I think I was a size 12. A size 12 is the national average of a woman in America. Ergo, I was made fun of for being an average person. Just like everyone else. I could go on forever about how horrible bullying is, but I’ll get back to the book.
This book is actually a memoir. Jillian Lauren was a New Jersey born and raised woman who moved to New York City straight out of high school and was poor, needed money, and turned to being a high-class escort. As a bigger woman, again- not a big woman, bigger – she was approached by a super discreet agency that hired women short-term to entertain (you know what I mean) Prince Jefri, the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, who tended to like women with meat on their bones.
She was contracted for a couple weeks and lived in Brunei for those weeks, but Prince Jefri took a liking to her and made her one of his coveted girlfriends. She soon worked her way up to being his second girlfriend. Bear in mind that the prince has multiple wives, multiple girlfriends, and multiple escorts. So being in the second place category was a pretty incredible thing. However, she was still technically a prostitute. She was getting paid, and getting paid well. It’s estimated that in the three years she was there, she was paid $300,000. She eventually left the harem, and left Brunei. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Scott Shriner – one of the rock stars from Weezer, and their son.
This book made a huge impact on me. I do want to stress that it never made me want to be a prostitute! But Lauren was a woman from New Jersey, just like me, who was bigger, like me, and who just wanted to be successful. It’s a story of a woman who overcame obstacles, and turned her life around. I’d give it four stars out of five! And a high five.
- The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
Ah, yes. Alexandre Dumas, one of the greatest French authors in the entire world. I dare say one of the greatest authors in the world. And I’d also say, the author with the best haircut.
The Count of Monte Cristo was one of the greatest movies I had ever seen. It came out in 2002 (an earlier version in 1975 – but I prefer this version) and changed my life. I’ve always loved period piece movies as well as prison break-out movies ever since I saw Escape From Alcatraz when I was a kid. So once I watched the movie I had to read the book. And let me tell you… it was better.
There is something so magical and so powerful reading a book that has such an original idea, that has amazing writing, and that is similar to a movie that I fell in love with. Dumas, on top of writing classics like The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers, managed to write a flawless novel, with intriguing characters and an incredible backstory. He truly paints a picture.
This book has followed me since 2002. In the meantime I’ve collected an early 1900s edition of the novel, a fancy looking edition, and a regular edition that I happened to find really cheap back in the early 2000s. The story always reminds me of the will of human strength and the unflappable abilities of people just trying to have free will.
- The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Lastly, I’ve had this novel in my possession for a really long time. To the point where I actually recently bought the novel thinking that I always wanted to read it and didn’t own it. During my packing I found that I had two copies of it. So I am so excited to read this book. It was published back in 2011 and is about a mysterious traveling circus back in the 1800s that only opens at night and is made up entirely of all black and white things. It’s not a regular circus either, each show is more magical. One of the circus tents is said to hold clouds.
This book seems perfect for me – it’s suspenseful, it’s set in the 1800s (so cool!), and it supposedly has a magician rivalry… I can’t wait to read it.
So after this upcoming weekend, I will be in the process of UNPACKING!!!! Which I can’t wait for. My boyfriend can attest – I’m incredibly stressed out (to quote a picture I saw, “I stress about stress before there’s even stress to stress about.”) and haven’t even really had time to read! It’s so sad.
But I hope these books stay in your brain and you get a chance to read them because I loved them, and I honestly just want to reread them now – after I read The Night Circus, of course. It’s crazy how many books stay in your mind based on what stage you are in while you read the book. If you have any books that have changed the way you think about the world, or about a certain time in your life, let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure it’s on my to-read list!
Until next time. Happy reading!!