I go through times when I devour a book every few days and times when news websites and social media make up the majority of my reading. I liken it to junk food- I feel better when I am consuming actual literature but sometimes…takeout happens, life happens.
I was hoping that long flights, train rides and leisurely afternoons spent in lounge chairs would mean the reading of books and that it did — I read 3 books in the last 2 weeks. Here’s the roundup:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: This is a young adult novel that just reads like a great novel. Cancer is what crosses the main characters paths but it’s simply the (albeit massive) factor that is shortening their time. Hazel Grace and Augustus navigate first love and last chances with searing wit, realism and the non-cliched attitude that now is all we have and it’s the duty of our humanity to live every last ounce of it. I loved it and the story told by Hazel was so grabbing that it made for a very quick read. The passengers near me on the flight to Italy were also treated to my ugly cry at the end. Good lord.
The Women by TC Boyle: After reading Loving Frank, I am fascinated by the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Women revolves around all of the women in his life- 3 wives and a mistress- as told by one of his protégés. The factual stories around these women and their entanglement with the grandiose and complicated Wright is incredible but what I really loved about the book was the narrative- instead of chronological order, it’s told in themes. Never confusing, i found the writing to be compelling and left me, again, utterly fascinated by this man by whom we know through buildings, not relationships.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I had heard so much about this book from friends and while it was long, it was very good. I read the 800 pages while on a cross Atlantic flight so the multitude of details flowed together easily and likely eliminated any slowness. 13 year old Theo Decker’s life is turned upside down after a trip to an art museum ends with a bomb and the death of his mother. The events set in motion by this day alter everything, including the famous painting his took in his confusion that horrible day. The topics of art theft and art dealing I find interesting and I felt the theme that while what happens in our childhoods impacts what follows, there is the possibility and, ultimately, the responsibility to make your own way is spot-on. Long but I learned a ton and felt it was worth it.
What are you reading? I would love to hear any recommendations you have!