I haven’t done much with the Character’s Bookshelf series lately, but it is still a concept very close to my heart. So today, let me offer you Becky’s Bookshelf. Becky Rosen, of course, is the fangirl from within the Supernatural universe, the Mary Sue made flesh, the ultimate defiance of the fourth wall. She is a fan of the same characters every Supernatural-fan is a fan of: the Winchesters. And here’s what she, and any other fangirl, should have on their bookshelves.
Fic by Anne Jamison
Fic is an incredible book by an incredible author. Anne Jamison is a professor of English at the University of Utah. She holds a PhD from Princeton, and she’s written an entire book about fanfiction and the way it’s changing the landscape of literature and culture. Apart from a number of surprising insights into the world of publishing and internet fandom, I also got an endless list of to-read fics from this book.
Get your very own copy here:
Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli
I loved this book because it really made me feel part of a gang. This is the book that made me aware there is a huge community of Potterheads out there in the world. It is also the book that showed me the kind of power such a community can have. Just think about the Harry Potter Alliance and all the good it does. Think about the way J.K’s stories have helped people fight loneliness and isolation. Think about how they’ve helped us fight inequality and discrimination. There are so many things these book taught me about the nature of love and friendship, and the community Harry has inspired continues to teach me valuable life lessons every day. Plus: the title is a play on Hogwarts: A History, arguably Hermione’s favorite book. What more could you possibly want?
The Sherlock Chronicles by Steve Tribe
Okay, so this book is less about the power of fandom in general and more aimed at Sherlockians specifically. But what fangirl isn’t also a Sherlockian these days? I have yet to meet one. The big selling point of this book is the way it looks: a shiny hardback filled with beautiful pictures. But the reason I decided to treat myself to a copy is because of the insights this book provides into the making-of Sherlock. Yes, you have to be pretty deep into fandom to care about production stills and all that stuff, but if you are, this is the book for you.
Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls by Lynn Zubernis and Katherine Larsen
Maybe I shouldn’t recommend this book, because I haven’t read it myself yet. However, since this is Becky’s bookshelf, I did want to represent the Supernatural-fandom on this list, and Fangasm has been on my to-read list for ages. As you can see, th
is is another book researched by college professors cum fangirls, otherwise known as aca-fans.
Fangirl and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
This is a complicated thing to explain. Fangirl is a book about a girl who is internet-famous as a writer of fanfiction, but struggles with social anxiety in real life. It’s a lovely read. Also, the fandom she writes for is not a real one (I presume for copyright reasons), but it is very much like Harry Potter. The fandom is called Simon Snow, and it’s about a young boy who goes to a Magic School in England. Do you see the parallels yet?
When Fangirl became widely successful, author Rainbow Rowell published a spin-off book, which was called Carry On. Carry On was all about Simon Snow and his World of Mages. On another level, it was an innovative homage to and critique of the Harry Potter series. And it is an LGBT romance. Go. Read.
Buy Fangirl here, and buy Carry On here. I’m struggling to resist the beautiful new paperback edition. The cover is gorgeous. I will probably end up buying one although I already own a hardcover with dust jacket. Why am I this nerdy?