I’m tempted to make a whole list of my favorite things, the sources of deep comfort or the silly pleasures or the weekend indulgences, but last month I was reminded of a favorite thing of mine that is harder to describe, not precisely possible to link to.
Last month I read Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Now it is true, I treasure a book I can unabashedly love, lose myself in, praise to the skies. But perhaps even better is a book like this one.
Weeks after reading it, I can’t really boil down my feelings about it enough to say if I liked it or not. That seems beside the point. And any succinct description of what it is about falls short for me.
There are more than a few exquisite lines that I turn over in my mouth again and again:
“. . .she was so outgoing she was practically incoming.”
“When I run the world, librarians will be exempt from tragedy. Even their smallest sorrows will last only for as long as you can take out a book.”
But it is not even these gems that have me circling back to the photo I snapped of the cover, before I returned the book to the library. The questions this book raised in me, about the nature of memory and family and blame, about being and humanity and love, keep swimming up to the surface, borne on its pages.
I don’t know what reaction happened, when these words were shaken together with my life now, but I know this drives me on as a reader, searching for the next book that unsettles me in complicated and wonderful ways.
Seeking midwinter inspiration with other good folks
writing along in February at Write ALM