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This & That #2: 3 Books That Shouldn't Go Together

This & That – 3 Books That Shouldn't Go Together

This and That” is a feature created by Megan @ Reading Books Likes a Boss and borrowed here with permission. Megan created this feature and I owe this post to her brilliance.  Not only should you check out her blog, generally, but her This & That recommendations are utterly perfect! Megan created this feature to showcase books that either sound similar or have similar themes, and thus I am recommending that you read the "that book" because you are a a fan of the “this book.” 

About the Books:

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop?

Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price. 

The Pigman (The Pigman #1) by Paul Zindel
Meet Mr. Pignati, a lonely old man with a beer belly and an awful secret. He's the Pigman, and he's got a great big twinkling smile. When John and Lorraine, two high school sophomores, meet Mr. Pignati, they learn his whole sad, zany story. They tell it right here in this book -- the truth, and nothing but the truth -- no matter how many people it shocks or hurts. 
Amazon | Audible GR

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

The Why:

So these three books may seem totally divergent but there is a method to my madness and a basis for recommending all three of them together!  

Every Exquisite Thing was a recent read for me and instant favorite (you can read my review HERE); it's about Nanette who discovers a cult-classic book written many years ago by a reclusive author and when she finds out that the author lives not more than 20 minutes away from her, she strikes up a friendship with him that changes everything. When I was reading it, I couldn't help but think about one of my childhood favorites, The Pigman, because there is a sort of similar premise in both of these books.  They both involve teens becoming friends with a reclusive older person and seeing the world differently because of it.  In The Pigman, there is that same truth of this friendship and the same desire to find out the older person's "story" as it were.  

The leap from Every Exquisite Thing to The Picture of Dorian Gray is more obvious; both involve an absolute fascination and obsession with a piece of art.  In fact, without giving anything away, Matthew Quick refers to The Picture of Dorian Gray at the end of Every Exquisite Thing.  But having read both, I can understand this obsession being present in both and having very interesting consequences in both books.

So, what do you think?  
Have you read any of these book and, if so, what do you think of my pairings? 
Do you have a favorite This & That pairing?  Let me know!


  1. I have not read any of these!!! I do really want to read Every Exquisite Thing though - especially after your review!

  2. Excellent post! Since I love The Picture of Dorian Gray so much I'll have to try these. I've never even heard of The Pigman before.

  3. I've only read The Picture of Dorian Gray, but that was many years ago. EET is on my wish list!

  4. Every Exquisite Thing sounds really fascinating. I can see how these books would work together. Love the idea of this post :)

  5. This is a great feature and I like how you tied themes together. I love older characters present in stories who share their stories. Great post!

  6. I haven't read any of these books but I like the premise. Every Exquisite Thing sounds really good. Wonderful post, Eva!

  7. I love that you have managed to bring three seemingly very different books together because of something that helped you feel like they could go together, Eva!
    Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  8. This is awesome! I knew Dorian Gray and i've seen MAtthew Quick's book around, but I never would have thought of them like this!

  9. This is so interesting, I would have never thought to pair every exquisite thing with the picture of dorian gray, but it definitely does work! Love these types of posts, they always give me good suggestions for my tbr! :)

  10. I like the sounds of Every Exquisite Thing! The only one I've read out of these is Dorian Gray. :)

  11. Every Exquisite Thing is totally going to be my next book to read. I have been DYING to read it and now I've finally got some time! Anyhow, I love that your picks aren't the everyday picks!! I love hearing about books I've never heard about-- Like The Pigman. I've also never read an Oscar Wilde book. When I hear Every Exquisite Thing's synopsis, I think TFIOS-- you know, if Van Houten wasn't a jerk and there was no cancer. Also-- I wonder if John Green chose Van Houten bc of the Manson connection?? Probably not. LOL random thought!!

  12. I want to read Every Exquisite Thing. I really loved Matthew Quick's Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy his latest. I've never heard of The Pigman. That title is an attention getter. Love Meagan!


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