Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Whenever I go into a bookstore, it always takes me a second to remember that all the classics are strewn about in a "Literature & Fiction" section, intermingling with every day romance novels and dime a dozen murder mysteries. Today, Garrett and I were browsing Barnes & Noble while we waited for Matthew's preschool Halloween party to start. He looked at books in the kid section before discovering that he could shoot angry birds on the displayed Nooks. I wandered, first through the music section, then through the kid area, then up through the smorgasbord of fine literature mixed with, well, not so fine literature.

I used all my birthday money to buy a Nook and I've discovered that they sell a lot of the classics for very little. My long term Nook plan is to reread a lot of the books I haven't read in over ten years as well as some of the classics I was never required to read but really ought to.

I wandered through Bronte (both Charlotte and Emily but not Anne--nothing personal against Anne, she just wasn't represented in the store), Cather, Chopin, Dickens, Hemingway, and on. I made a mental note to ask for Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas so that I can read endlessly on my Nook. I reached Plath and was somewhat saddened to find that they only had The Bell Jar. I love The Bell Jar but it seemed strange that they had neither a collection of poetry nor Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. I mean, who can pass up a title like Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams? I adore Sylvia Plath, oven suicide and all. 

Next to Plath was Poe and, aside from the obvious alphabetical order of things, this felt appropriate. I feel that, had they been contemporaries, they might have enjoyed one another's company. As I perused the shelves, my eyes naturally landed on the book directly next to Poe.

So first of all, I suppose that if I'd really thought about it, I would have realized that Snooki isn't her real name, that she has an actual name beyond something that should be dedicated to a poodle. I just hadn't thought about it. So, first of all, I thought it was a biography of Snooki by someone named Nicole Polizzi and that it really belonged over in the appropriate section. However, upon deeper investigation, I realized that it is, in fact, a novel of fiction written by Snooki and placed on a shelf next to the classic works of Edgar Allan Poe and Sylvia Plath.

Here's the synopsis.

It's a summer to remember . . . at the Jersey Shore. Giovanna "Gia" Spumanti and her cousin Isabella "Bella" Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn't be more different--pint-size Gia is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete who always holds her tongue--for the next month they're ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila. So far, Gia's summer is on fire. Between nearly burning down their rented bungalow, inventing the popular "tan-tags" at the Tantastic Salon where she works, and rescuing a shark on the beach, she becomes a local celebrity overnight. Luckily, she meets the perfect guy to help her keep the flames under control. Firefighter Frank Rossi is exactly her type: big, tan, and Italian. But is he tough enough to handle Gia when things really heat up? Bella is more than ready for some fun in the sun. Finally free of her bonehead ex-boyfriend, she left home in Brooklyn with one goal in mind: hooking up with a sexy gorilla for a no-strings-attached summer fling. In no time, she lands a job leading "Beat Up the Beat" dance classes at a local gym, and is scooped up by Beemer-driving, preppy Bender Newberry. Only problem: Bella can't get her romantic and ripped boss Tony "Trouble" Troublino out of her head. He's relationship material. Suddenly, Bella's not sure "what "she wants. The cousins soon realize that for every friend they make on the boardwalk, there are also rivals, slummers, and frenemies who will do anything to ruin their summer--and try their relationship. Before July ends, the bonds of family and friendship will be stretched to the breaking point. Will the haters prevail, or will Gia and Bella find love at the Shore? For everyone who loves MTV's hit reality show, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's sweet, funny, and sexy novel perfectly captures the heat, the energy, the fun, "and "the drama of "Jersey Shore."

Apparently, they'll publish anything if it's penned by a reality television star. I mean, seriously, a sexy gorilla?  How about the fact that Tony "Trouble" Troublino is "relationship material?" I don't actually feel that anyone nicknamed Trouble is any more relationship material than someone nicknamed Snooki.

I'm not saying we can't have a book by Snooki but could it be in a section called Drivel Written by Women Famous Only for the Sheer Volume of Hook-Ups They've Had on the Shores of Jersey? And maybe put all the classics together in a section titled Actual Literature.

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