If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I got the best flattery from blogging colleague All Things Jennifer. She responded to my Cast of Characters by saying she wanted to write one of her own.
Do so, Jennifer, in good health! I actually think a Cast of Characters should be obligatory for everyone's blog. It helps keep everything straight.
My Cast of Characters was really Howard's idea. But Howard, in turn, borrowed it from "The Forsyte Saga." He didn't read the book, but I did. Funny, I never saw any of the TV adaptations or anything. I must be the only person in the world who knows "The Forsyte Saga" only from the book. Anyway, I couldn't put "The Forsyte Saga" down, and for weeks, I would read it in bed until I could no longer keep my eyes open. After I fell asleep, with visions of Soames Forsyte dancing through my head, Howard would have to take "The Forsyte Saga" out of my hands and lay it on the floor next to the bed. In doing so, he often noticed the family tree that was printed on the inside cover.
Howard suggested that I blog a Cast of Characters and I said sure, because it gave me one more chance to mention Leonard Pennario, which I never get tired of doing.
My brother George read "The Forsyte Saga" too. We have our own informal book club, just us passing books back and forth. We read this select list of titles and discuss them obsessively.
Here are books our book club has tackled.
1.) "The Forsyte Saga," by John Galsworthy.
2.) "Marjorie Morningstar," by Herman Wouk. George is actually reading this one again at the moment, that's how good it is.
3.) "I Am Charlotte Simmons," by Tom Wolfe. Before text messages went up to 20 cents we would often text-message each other lines from this book.
4.) "Lost Horizons," by I forget who. This one is more one-sided. I couldn't really get into it. But George swears by it.
5.) "Brideshead Revisited." George has already read it and I am going to start it. I have only the sketchiest memories of the TV series so I will be approaching this one, too, from a TV-free perspective. (Naturally I will avoid the movie too.)
Meanwhile I will await All Things Jennifer's Cast of Characters.
Her blog belongs, of course, on anyone's list of classics.