It has been a long, long while since I voluntarily undertook and completed a 720 page book, but I did last week! I finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. First and foremost, this story is about love. And friendship. Yanagihara (I love saying her name!) follows one character, Jude St. Francis, for decades and the relationships that thread through his life. We know something bad, very bad, happened to Jude in his childhood; that is no secret. You need to pull out your thesaurus for words to describe the horrific things this character faces. Like all of us, his experiences formed who he is, and we see the impact this has on his relationships. I cared about these characters so much that what happens actually hurt. I am still thinking about them two days out and will, most likely, continue to do so. While it was expansive and epic, it was also one of the most difficult books I have ever read due to subject matter. Not for the faint of heart! I highly recommend this book.
After setting down A Little Life, I stood before my book shelves looking for something fun and light. There isn’t much “fluff” there though I wish there was for this very reason, but I did find one to fit the bill, The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter. Have you read Beautiful Ruins? He wrote that too, but this has a far different feel. It is cheeky and hilarious. The writing is crisp and clever. While I am only 60 pages in, this guy is funny! I am having fun, and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. (I just now discovered there is a movie based on this book starring Jack Black. Hmmmmm...)
I am also working my way through a second collection of poems by Mary Oliver called Dream Work. I am liking it even better than her Pulitzer Prize winning American Primitive, which I adored. There is a special poem in this one. It is the reason I picked up Oliver to begin with. After I finish, I will tell you the story.
Can’t wait to get my hands on My Name is Lucy Barton. I am a huge Strout fan since Olive Kitteridge.
Tell me about you. Anything. Which book are you holding this week?
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