Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What You're Not Reading, Day Six

The hardest question customers ever posed to me when I was a bookseller was "Can you recommend a
happy/funny book?" I don't read happy books. Actually, that's not strictly true, but I connect more to books with serious themes. Books that aren't the picks you give your aunt who's recovering from surgery in the hospital--that's my sweet spot. I don't think I'm the only book nerd with this problem either. I take note when I encounter a book that has genuinely funny moments and to which I still connect as a reader, a book that you can give to your mom and discuss together and both enjoy.

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is one of those big-hearted, funny, life-fulfilling books that makes me happy. I was completely invested in the characters and found myself rooting for them, wanting to hear their stories, cheering for them. Think Fannie Flagg. Think sitting in the kitchen listening to your aunts talk to your grandmother as they fix Thanksgiving dinner. This is a book you want to wrap around you.

Edward Kelsey Moore
Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean become inseparable friends in high school, and as they grow up one thing remains constant--they eat at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat every single Sunday afternoon. Their bond is so obvious that the locals begin referring to them as "the Supremes." They struggle together, fight, make up, and prop each other up through affairs and romances and illnesses. They gossip and laugh loudly.

I think the reason The Supremes at Earl's is so full of love is because author Edward Kelsey Moore did spend his childhood sitting in the kitchen and listening to the conversations, and he remembered the crazy stories he heard. He's a classically trained cellist in his non-writing life, so there's the chance that I would hate him like I hate ridiculously talented people on principle (this is my calling in life), but really, it's impossible to hate the guy who brought Odette to life on the page. These characters really are that memorably good.

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