Book 399: People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks

Brooks, Geraldine - People of the BookI’m finally starting to make a “dent” in my to-be-read shelves! YAY! On the downside, due to work events and the seasonal time change affecting me more than usual this book took two weeks to read, which is sad because it was so beautifully written.

I’m going to start by saying take my review with a grain of salt because this is a book about books and writing and conservation so of course I loved it. It also coincided with our visit to the 39th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (a blog post about it on The New Antiquarian as the BIABF’s website appears to be down), which was great because we saw many religious texts which reminded me that I needed to finish reading this wonderful book! I’ll talk more about the fair later in a special Culture Corner post, hopefully, or at the very least in my November recap in early December.

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Book 70: Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

I’ve wanted to read this for quite a few years. I grew up fascinated by the Star Wars universe. I can confidently say, whether I would or not is another question, I have probably read all Star Wars novels released prior to 2003. And probably owned 90% of them.

There’s not really a lot to say about the book – it’s a short and, at times, hilarious read. Sometimes the book went off on a rant, but considering this is an adaptation of her one-woman stage show I wasn’t surprised. Her writing style was conversational and made for a nice quick read (I read it between panels at the Boston Book Festival). She talks a little about her novels and I definitely want to check them out at some point, especially Postcards from the Edge.

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Book 7: A Million Little Pieces – James Frey

This novel/memoir completely surprised me. I knew of the controversy, but managed to avoid knowing anything else about the novel. Regardless of whether this novel/memoir is falsified or true (Frey has admitted that it was embellished), I think more people should read it. I thought James Frey provided an interesting and intimate look into the life of an addict, whether it was fabricated or not, I still think it was a beautiful story. His writing style took a while to get used to, but over-all it didn’t take anything away from the story.

What I thought was most beautiful about the novel/memoir was the way he wrote about eyes. His struggle to look himself in the eye and the eventual passing of the struggle provided specific instances of improvement, or not, in his struggle to kick his habits. The way Frey described other people’s eyes was both beautiful and eerie. You never learn the name of his ‘first love,’ but you know her as ‘Arctic Eyes’ and that image stays with you throughout the entire book. He talks about the truth in people’s eyes and the darkness and depth in others and I just thought it was incredibly beautiful and insightful.

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