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November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: My Heart is an Autumn Sunset

Posted by emily

The question on everyone's mind this Throwback Thursday is whether or not there's a non-cheesy way to post a picture of the sun setting over the city to the Internet. Well, friends, I may have found history's greatest loophole! There's nothing that inspires nostalgia quite like a lovely, late-autumn sunset, and today's was no exception. So enjoy our short and sweet** throwback as the sun goes down here and wherever you may be. And enjoy my picture of the setting sun, and try to pretend I'm not a dork. 

**Loosely defined

It's no longer a surprise that dating makes up about 97.8% of out-of-office talk, in-office. These deep-rooted discussions on love have not become more frequent in the recent weeks (despite the fact that it’s getting colder and everyone needs to find someone to cuddle up with…), they've been present since before we started the TBT feature, before 20SomethingReads launched, before the beginning of time. We've said it many times before and we'll say it again, 20Somethings are hungry for love (among other things, namely, chips). After sharing, imparting and exchanging some advice on dating (Emily chimed in...and the success rate for our fellow coworker rocketed sky high), it only seems "organic" for THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER to be my pick for this week's TBT. Now this tale of unrequited love told in a tone of stein-sized German angst doesn't end as (cough) lively (cough cough) as the story of our TBRN kindred. Nevertheless, both stories are classic --- WERTHER: Boy loves girl. Girl is taken. Boy still tries to steal girl's heart. Girl marries other man. Boy kills himself. TBRN: Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Boy makes move. Girl's heart swells. Swoon. The point here is that love is in the air, no matter the season. Sometimes you can embrace it, sometimes you must escape it and sometimes it's drop-dead horrible.

It’s hard to say which I loved more when I was in tenth grade: DAVID COPPERFIELD, the Dickens classic, or David Copperfield, international man of magic and great hair. For the purpose of this TBT (and the little pride I have left), I’m going to say it was the former, although there’s an incriminatingly large collection of books on magic in my parents’ basement that would indicate otherwise. DAVID COPPERFIELD is a standard 19th century orphan-in-London story, one with characters and situations that are as familiar to modern readers as Colin Firth romancing an Austen heroine. What makes the story really special, though, is its uniquely human quality. The characters are indelible (and not just because Uriah Heep shows up all the time in crossword puzzles): David, who loves strongly and wrongly; Peggotty, the wise and loyal servant; Steerforth, the smooth-talking cad; Dora, the beautiful and silly woman-child; Agnes, the sensible, lovely friend who never gives up on her love for David; and, of course, Uriah Heep, who is deceptively self-deprecating and also a complete fraud. It’s the characters that bring the story to life, as well as the author’s own Dickensian charm. GREAT EXPECTATIONS aside, I’m generally not a big fan of Dickens (is that a collective gasp I hear? no?), but DAVID COPPERFIELD stands out as one that really moved me. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the romance. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for David Copperfields.

I just read this week that this book is being made into a movie and I don’t know how that’s going to happen but I am so excited. Basically, if you don’t find Bill Bryson hilarious, I don’t think we have anything to talk about. My best friend and I are currently in the process of reading all of his books in our two-person book club, and it all started with A WALK IN THE WOODS. The book is Bryson’s memoir of hiking the Appalachian Trail in his middle age. He drags along an old friend and hilarity ensues in the way only the witty and self-deprecating Bryson can bring to life. If you read one book about hiking in your entire life, make sure it’s A WALK IN THE WOODS. (yep, I just threw WILD by Cheryl Strayed under the bus). Now, if you’re thinking “I hate hiking, and inspirational books about overcoming adversity through outdoor activity make me want to gag,” I am going to say the same thing I said to my best friend when I recommended this and she had the same response: “Stop.” If you love hiking, you will love this book. If you don’t, you will probably love it even more. A WALK IN THE WOODS is for anyone who can appreciate some very clever insight into how weird America and its people can be sometimes and anyone who appreciates laughing out loud while reading in public places. Again, if that’s not you, I don’t think we have anything to talk about.