I used to love reading. I still do, theoretically. It’s just that, these days, I have neither the time nor the concentration level to read much more than my Facebook feed – which is, of late, part tragedy (Donald Trump, etc.) and part mystery (blueberry muffin or chihuahua??). I used to read multiple books in a week. People even used to pay me to review them. Things have changed since then, but I haven’t given up completely. I still buy books and sometimes I even read them, sort of.
Here, I present to you some reviews of books I may or may not have read recently:
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
The first of Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels begins with Elena and Lila’s rough childhood in Naples. Lila, the more gifted of the two, is pulled from school and made to work in her father’s shoe shop, while Elena is allowed to continue her studies. A few years pass and they become interested in boys. The cover of the book has a bride and groom on it, so I’m guessing that someone gets married in the end?
On Writing, Stephen King
I’d heard great things about this book and, whatever your thoughts are about King’s writing skills (you snob), you can’t deny that the guy has been successful. And prolific. So he must know a thing or two, right? I bought this to help motivate me to write more – and because reading a book about writing is practically the same as actually writing.
The Uncollected David Rakoff
Rakoff is one of my favorite
essayists writers. His writing is fiercely intelligent and just plain gorgeous, and underneath his snarkiness and wit runs a current of genuine warmth. Rakoff was 47 when he died, of cancer, in 2012. It sounds corny, but it felt like losing a friend. I have read most of Rakoff’s work, so I was excited when this collection of juicy extras was published. It includes the full text of his novel in verse, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish – which, I admit, I have been a little afraid to tackle. If anyone could pull this off, though, it’s Rakoff. I’ll let you know what I think… In the meantime, go read something of his now. Or at least watch his incredible performance on This American Life.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, [The Infamous] Richard Ferber, M.D.
Maybe if I’d actually read this I would have more time to read other books. I’ll never know.
All The Light We Cannot See
Ooh! I read this one! The whole thing! It was about a blind French girl, and a boy who was… German, I think? And it took place during World War II, and the girl’s father had to leave her behind and then he maybe died or something. I can’t be sure because I read this more than two weeks ago. But I know I liked it. At least, I think I did.