February: lovesick and lambs-wooled. We call you fair of face, fleet of foot (only 28 days, after all), foxy, Phlox Lombardi’d, and inclined to repeatedly listen to Jonathan Richman and the airing of grievances. Black History Month ushers you in, while Gilbert Gottfried’s birthday Bears you Down. Amid all this, the bell tolls for thee: februum, after all, means “purification.” Chinese New Year goes ka-ka-ka-kat and our presidents are remembered for birth or pluck. What luck, February, grand dame of winter. We’ll take your lead and . . . turn to Southern California.
With all that in mind, let us proclaim February the month of a free ebook: Who Wrote the Book of Love?, Lee Siegel’s fictional ode to an erotic coming of age.
“Part of my plan,” Mark Twain wrote in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, “has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked.” With the same motive, Lee Siegel has written what Twain might have composed had he been Jewish, raised in Beverly Hills in the 1950s, and joyously obsessed with sex and love.
“Hilarious. . . . A delicious, page-turning memoir that spans those doctor-playing, sex-obsessed, hormone-drenched years from 5 to 15. It’s witty, warm, terribly sweet in places, and there’s never a dull moment on any single page. . . . Who Wrote the Book of Love? is not for the drear puritan. Yes, this charming book with so many laugh-out-loud sections, with its incurable nostalgia for youthful folly, is full of dirty thoughts, words, and deeds. But I wonder if a more innocent book has been written lately.”—Chicago Tribune
In Who Wrote the Book of Love?, Siegel pens the tender tale of Love under the Sign of McCarthyism, replete with a Pat Boone soundtrack and a healthy mix of adolescent sexual hijinks and fear of nuclear annihilation (online excerpt available here). In keeping with Chicago’s monthly ebook promotion, until February 28th, you have the opportunity to download this “novel” volume, praised by Time Out Chicago, Booklist, and Penn Jillette, for free.
“We were young,” Augusten Burroughs began. “We were bored. And the old electroshock therapy machine was just under the stairs in a box next to the Hoover.”
No matter how you choose to remember your childhood, we can’t endorse Who Wrote the Book of Love? enough as perfect fodder for this month of purifying rituals, wilderness survival plans, and possible psychiatric measures.
Download your copy today.