"I always knew I loved you, E. B. White."

Welcome back to another installment of our favorite bibliophilic game, You Want Me to Read WHAT? The rules are simple: Julie, Eve, and a guest assign each other off-the-beaten path books and then gather to talk about them! This time around, Julie picked the Japanese thriller Seventeen by author Hideo Yokoyama for guest Marc Acito; Marc picked Colette’s feminist novella Gigi (which Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe turned into an anti-feminist musical–remember the 1958 movie that starred Leslie Caron, Louis Jordan, and Maurice Chevalier?) for Eve; and for Julie, Eve picked E. B. White’s classic ode to New York City, Here is New York, which opens, unforgettably: “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.” … So stay tuned to find out whether these books are keepers or never-repeaters!


Marc Acito writes and directs musicals, including the upcoming film Mad Woman, starring and featuring the music of Storm Large. He also writes about musicals, including his thinly-veiled, autobiographical novel, How I Paid for College. And Marc is also a treasured former guest of Book Dreams from Episode 23, “Test-driving the A.I. That Claims to Predict & Help Create Bestsellers.”




Seventeen


“A lovely examination of what it means for something to be important both locally and globally.” ―Tara Wilson Redd, The Washington Times


“An astringent, unforgiving picture of modern Japanese society.” ―Barry Forshaw, The Guardian


“More than your standard thriller . . . A meditative and multilayered narrative that is as much about a man at a mid-life crossroads as it is about journalism or a plane crash.” ―Tara Cheesman, Los Angeles Review of Books


Gigi


“The paradoxes of great literature are those of human nature, and Colette is nothing if not human . . . Accessible and elusive; greedy and austere; courageous and timid; subversive and complacent; scorchingly honest and sublimely mendacious; an inspired consoler and an existential pessimist--these are the qualities of the artist and the woman. It is time to rediscover them.” From the Introduction


“Colette is one of the glories of France.” Michael Straight, The New Republic


Here is New York


"E.B. White's love letter to New York.” AMNY’s “Books Every New Yorker Should Read"


"Just to dip into this miraculous essay—to experience the wonderful lightness and momentum of its prose, its supremely casual air and surprisingly tight knit—is to find oneself going ahead and rereading it all.White’s homage feels as fresh as fifty years ago." —John Updike


“The wittiest essay, and one of the most perceptive, ever done on the city.” The New Yorker


Go Deeper

Marc Acito

Ep. 61: You Want Me to Read WHAT? with Brookes May

Ep. 23: Test-driving the A.I. That Claims to Predict & Help Create Bestsellers, with Marc Acito

Seventeen, by Hideo Yokoyama

Gigi, by Colette

Here Is New York, by E. B. White, introduction by Roger Angell

Six Four, by Hideo Yokoyama

Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Gigi (1958 film)

Stuart Little, by E. B. White

Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast

Podglomerate

Lit Hub Radio