Good golly, this one is really something. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stakes by Annie Spence came along at just the right time. I needed a good laugh and something to keep me company on my drive across state. I wasn’t looking for it. It simply was an interesting sounding book with just enough length to carry me on my journey. I rarely do Audio, but let’s be honest, it is bad mojo to drive a car and read a book at the same time. This Librarian, Annie, has been writing letters to books. Dear John, letters, love letters and angry rant letters. She shares them with us. And yes, there is a Dear John letter –
“Dear Dear John,
It sounds kind of obvious to say this because you’re a book, but I want to be moved by your words. In the prologue you say, ‘Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end.’ No shit, John. That’s how that works. Give me something that I’ve never heard. Describe something I’m familiar with but never thought of as beautiful before. Or at least throw in some more equestrian scenes.
Anyway, not to beat an underutilized horse, but I’m donating you to my doctor’s office. I don’t know what I’m going to make up to say to my relative when she asks if I read you. I’m just guessing, given your author, that one character turns out to be an angel? I’m gonna hedge my bets and lead with that at the Christmas party.”
Well, I thought it was funny. Anyway, I loved this book about books. My taste in books and hers do not mesh. Her Language is salty, I don’t like salty. It didn’t matter. I laughed all the way through. It was entertaining. It was warm and insightful. It was angry at times, but held my attention. So much so that I sat in my car, for a half hour, in a hotel parking lot listening to it… and I had to pee. I held it.
Two thirds of this book is epistolary, the back third is her discussing books for every occasion. Including a commentary for potential mates you might meet, who do not read or read magazines – you want to get them to read books…. and so on. This portion was not as strong for me. I enjoyed her letters to Matilda, Misery and one about a guy carrying a book in his hand at a bar. Another about her wanting to rescue a book from a bathroom.
One thing is certain. I wont be looking at my Librarian the same way anymore.
I am willing to bet there will be people pushing Annie Spence’s book into librarians faces and asking, “Have you read this? You have to read this! Why can’t you be funny like Annie?” To that they will smile while performing a mental eye roll, and then… go talk about you in the break room and type a strongly worded email to Mrs. Spence about her book.
This is not a perfect book. You wont agree with her, you may even get made at her – I’m talking to you Twilight fans – but you will be entertained.