Some books that have jumped off the shelves and into my arms in the last week or so:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
I was browsing Macleod’s Books one sunny lunch hour and there it was, Garcia-Marquez’s masterpiece lying on top of the other books on the shelf. Macleod’s is the sort of used bookstore where the shelves are packed tight and books are stacked in front of shelves, on chairs, and on tables – in a word: dangerous. I was helpless when it pleaded “Take me home. You know you’ve read me. You know you love me.”

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray
Killing time a couple days later in the recently created used and bargain books section of the The Granville Book Company, I came across these two irresistible books.
Regarding The Last Picture Show, I never saw the movie but completely adored this book during an obsessively-reading-Larry McMurtry phase. You may know him as the novelist who writes about the Old West (Lonesome Dove and Buffalo Girls, the best novel ever about Calamity Jane) and pre-modern Texas in Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show. It’s a very moving novel about teenage longing and small towns and football. Avoid the sequel Texasville. It might have had a great ending, but I never made it there.
My grade 9 social studies teacher had us watch Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon during a unit on the French Revolution. A girl who had multiple mental health issues got upset about a scene in a brothel (Kubrick liked boobies I’ve noticed) and went home and told her mom. The next day, we watched the rest of it but our teacher had to keep a finger poised on the fast forward button. Remember those? Until I saw the book on the shelf, I had no idea that Thackeray had written it. I devoured Vanity Fair a couple years ago when I stopped being intimidated by its thickness and started being hungry for a sprawling, blockbuster pageant of a Victorian novel. I hope Barry Lyndon is just as good. Thackeray was brilliant at creating fascinating stories starring really, really unlikeable characters. Romping scoundrels, yeah!

Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Speaking of unlikeable characters, this quintessential novel of the 80s is full of them. Captains of industry, trophy wives, vengeful DAs, southern mistresses, opportunistic politicians, paparazzi, and English journalists. Robust language and a page turning story about the deep divide between the haves and have-nots in Capital-ist City. And only $0.10 at a thrift-store sale!

Some books, you just need to have around to take a bite out of now and again. These are 3 of them, plus one that piqued my curiosity.
A while back, on that book meme we were batting around, I wanted to know who you plan to read the complete works of one of these summers? I’d like to hang out with Edith Wharton.