Everyone knows someone who struggles with mental illness. Maybe they don’t even know it. But when it’s a member of your immediate family, it is hard to miss. And it affects each member of that family in a different way. Maybe we inherit those traits. Maybe we feel guilt. Maybe we mourn the fact that we can’t do more. Maybe we ignore. Maybe we act out, in anger, fear, or desperation. Continue reading
Why does this book speak to me so? Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. The book begins so light, so funny, a young girl in New York living any girl’s dream. She wants to see it all, she wants to experience everything. Plath perfectly captures what it’s like to see the world in that stage of our lives, full of energy and hope and excitement for the future, but also unsure in a way. Brave and scared at once. Right on that line between innocence and loss of innocence: “This dress was cut so queerly I couldn’t wear any sort of bra under it, but that didn’t matter much as I was skinny as a boy and barely rippled, and I liked feeling almost naked on the hot summer nights.” (p. 8). Continue reading
As I believe I have mentioned, most of the books I read were recommended to me by trusted literary friends. Sometimes I will read a book simply because I have read and enjoyed the author in the past. Occasionally an article or review of a book will pique my interest, though I fear spoilers, so largely avoid any critiques containing too-thorough plot analyses, and try to steer clear of hype. No, I’m not an elitist or a snob, but popular taste and my own personal taste don’t always coincide. Yeah, there is no way to say that without sounding like a snob. So be it. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember where I first heard about this book. It was not from a friend. I have never read Ferris before. I don’t remember reading any articles. It’s a mystery. Continue reading
I have been fortunate enough to read some really, really, really good books lately. And The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides goes right at the tippy top of this list. What a delight! This book was absolutely an English major’s dream come true. Loved, loved, loved every single second of it.
Because: Continue reading
A lot of interesting studies on the psychological/social/emotional impact of Facebook have come out lately. I think I intuitively suspected some of what the studies have revealed, but it is still fascinating to see it empirically quantified. Bad or good, Facebook (used here as synonymous with all social networking generally) has completely, fundamentally, and permanently changed the way we interact. Is that good or bad? And if bad, then what? Continue reading
The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon
I recently took a break from Blood Meridian to read a book about the bleakest, blackest depression.
Surprisingly, it has been an absolute joy.
Read The Noonday Demon. It is one of the most beautiful, intense books I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter.
It is heartbreaking and hopeful and the author is an absolute wizard with words.
(or, “things I want to do before I cry”).
Someone asked me recently if I had anything I was looking forward to. And I was stumped. And that is not like me, and it is certainly not good. Not much of one for lists, this isn’t really my style, but feeling like you don’t have anything to look forward to is no way to live either. So I made a list. And here it is (in part): Continue reading