Tag Archives: Louise Rennison

The Monday Book: ARE THESE MY BASOOMAS I SEE BEFORE ME by Louise Rennison

basoomasLouise Rennison wrote ten books about her heroine Georgia Nicholson, a typical English teen who kept adults laughing. From titles like Away Laughing on a Fast Camel to Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, she captured the worst of being 15 and made it funny.

I got the last of the Georgia books out of our local library a week or two ago, just to see if the magic held. Yep. Georgia utters lines like “Everyone is so obsessed with themselves nowadays that they have no time for me” and “He said, ‘Hi, gorgeous,’ which I think is nice. I admire honesty” with her usual bluster and bravado.

Plots aren’t really a part of the Georgia mystique, although this one is ostensibly about putting on a production of Hamlet at the all-girls Catholic school. Really, though, each book is about boys, snogging, lip gloss, and great shoes. It’s just that Rennison is soooooo funny you don’t care. Each book is written like a diary, with entries such as

12:01 “I hate him.”

12:04 “Hate is a bit strong. He just rang up and asked me out again.”

That kind of sappy, hormone-driven humor has always been Rennison’s strong point, but apparently when writing Basoomas, she knew she was finishing the series, because where she’d held back before, she didn’t this time. All her books had a gentleness toward sex and snogging that let teachers at least pretend they could be used in literature class, but Basoomas never misses a joke. Talking about the band finishing up practice, “I waited while the Lurve God put away his equipment. (Leave it.)”

Etc. etc. for a hundred pages or so. If you want some escapist, snort soda through your nose laugh out loud fun, pick up a Louise Rennison novel. She died in 2016, so enjoy the ten that are around, and have fun.

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Comfort Books

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July yesterday. Ours passed comfortably in a swelter of heat, a nice cold plate of veggies and cheese for supper, and gorgeous fireworks with friends on the lawn. (They taught my newly-American husband–a native of Scotland–to say “Oooooh” and “Aaaaaah” at the right times, and presented him with a stars-n-stripes baseball hat.)

We returned to find our neurotic younger dog Bert had chewed his way through the baby gate that keeps him from the bookshop floor, to huddle quivering under the table. Apparently, his firework reactions were less “Oooh! Aaaah” than “Nooooo! Aaaaaagh!”

In righting the destruction Bert had wrought, my mind turned to the rituals and readings we use to comfort ourselves in such situations; had Bert been able to pull his favorite children’s book off the shelf–Wind in the Willows, of course–and read it (as opposed to shred it) he might have been able to forget the noise outside and find his happy place.

I have a few “my troubles can’t get to me here” books to which I return when my heart is uneasy, my brain a hamster wheel of all-go, no-forward-motion. Let me just share five here, and then you tell me yours.

Psalms: as in Old Testament Bible. The letters in the New Testament are also pretty calming, and for those of us who believe the back story, they return the balance of seeing the Big Picture versus the immediate events of the day.

Except for Me and Thee, Jessamyn West. Such a happy story, even when it’s bittersweet. If you’ve not read this tale of a Quaker family and their daily-life silly adventures, it is funny and charming; you can feel your blood pressure dropping as you read.

Bert and I share affinity for Wind in the Willows. My two favorite parts are the visit from Pan when they find the lost otter child, and the return to Mole’s house for Christmas. This sweetness comes wrapped in warm brown fur.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Call me crazy. A friend who works in a prison says she once asked the shrinks there, who visit ax murderers and people who killed women and children, “What do you do to relax?” A lot of them watched that serial-murder TV show “Dexter,” because “as bad as it gets here, it’s not that bad.” I think The Road is like that for many of us. No matter what’s going on, it ain’t that bad.

Anything by Louise Rennison. If you’re unfamiliar with this British writer, she turns out faux diaries of a “typical” English girl’s madcap adventures in love and family. Lines like “7 pm: I shall never think of him again!” and “7:02 pm: I hate him. I shall call and tell him so” intersperse with bad hair days, deciding what to wear to those all-important dances, and other stuff that makes one laugh out loud. Rennison is hysterical.

So, I showed you mine. How about yours?

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