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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Category / Literature

Earth Under Fire: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” with Lauren Scovel

“Tea?”

“Thank you,” said Lauren, taking the mug from Gwen. It wasn’t often that all three of the trio could meet together to formally discuss a book –– and even rarer that they could do so with another friend. So Gwen had pulled out the stops to make the meeting an “occasion.”

“Does everyone have their copy of ‘Silent Spring’ with them?” Gwen asked, finally taking a seat around the coffee table. Eleanor and Lauren, both resting on the couch, held up worn copies of the novel.

“I just borrowed Eleanor’s when she was done,” Dania said. “I remember most of it.”

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Feeling Spotty: Dodie Smith’s “The Hundred And One Dalmatians” and “The Starlight Barking”

It was relatively quiet in the apartment –– nothing but the tapping of keys as Gwen worked on her laptop, and the papery flutter of Eleanor turning pages in her book –– when the door to Dania’s room suddenly burst open. She stood, holding a copy of The Starlight Barking in one hand, and gripping the door frame with white knuckles.

Gwen looked up, and immediately grinned in anticipation. This face, this exact reaction, was precisely the reason why she had suggested the pair of books to her friends in the first place. While Eleanor hadn’t quite delivered, the expression now frozen to Dania’s face was more than enough.”

“So? How was it?” Eleanor asked, lazily.

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Our Gay Apparel: Gerri Hill’s “Chasing A Brighter Blue”

The book had been sitting, unremarkable, on the coffee table in their living room when Gwen finally took the moment necessary to question the cover image.

“Is that a deer in a Santa hat?”

Picking up the book, the clearly photoshopped cover for Chasing A Brighter Blue had a quaint, algorithm-designed draw to it. Gwen could tell at a glance that this book would contain not a trace of deer wearing Santa hats – perhaps it would contain no deer at all.

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Joy Of The Chase: E.L. Konigsburg’s “From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

The cover image, with the two photographed children standing at the steps of a pen drawing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was too iconic to be mistaken for any other. Dania’s heart skipped to see it in Gwen’s hands.

“The Mixed-Up Files” had been a formative book for Dania –– a testament to the power of art and history, the need to let facts affect you rather than simply accumulate in your mind. Since first reading Konigsburg’s book as a child, Dania had returned to it periodically. Each pass through Claudia and Jamie’s tale provided more details, including humor at the comparatively cheap prices in the New York of the 1960s.

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