I just finished my Feb-March books. I'm continuing in my memoir research by reading a ton of non-fiction, with a couple of exceptions. I'm going to tell you all about them so you can run to the library. A word of warning: the library DOES have henchmen and they WILL hunt you down for the $1.90 fee you owe them! :/
De Hartog's writing is simple yet elegant and this book is a very quick read. You could read it within a couple of evenings. De Hartog confirms that even with something as big and tragic as losing a parent, we are all still fundamentally the same. It all looks the same no matter how old or how young, what time you live in or where you come from, life and ultimately death is something we can and will all experience similarly.
Ultimately, it proves impossible to run away from her family and she has to face it head on when it lands on her doorstep. I found this main character to be very interesting because I loved her and hated her all at the same time. She is so easy to like because she's funny and insightful but on the flip side, she's dangerously self afflicting. Perhaps she reminded me a little too much of myself.
This book reminded me that we can never run far enough from our history because it's weaved into the very fabric of who we are.
Ironically, it touches on many of the same themes of "Taste of Salt." Perhaps I just needed to hear those themes this month. This book does not read like an AY book, it feels very grown up to me while still being very interesting to kids.
The story follows the main character "Tiger Ann" who lives with her Grandmother and her parents who are both described as "slow." Something happens and Tiger has to make a big decision about who she is and where she belongs.
It's impossible not to like this endearing and well-written book. Even if its target audience is adolescent girls!
The sections are broken down into tiny pieces of his life yet they give you a huge window into who he is. Sedaris is often described as the best humorist writer of our time and I have to admit, there were definitely times when I called Hal from another room and read him entire sections of this book and we sat together giggling like school kids.
There are times when a book makes your brain smile. Other times, books will make you chuckle under your breath. This book will make you shoot coffee out of your nose and refuse to stop reading as you wipe the snotty coffee from your chin.
My favorite essay was "Cyclops." Don't ever read that one while you're eating. You will surely choke and die.
It's definitely a sad tale but Burroughs tells it with such wit and sarcasm that you can't help but embrace it as his reality.
As a lover of memoir, I love the detail of this book although I felt as though it was very surface and would have loved for him to delve deeper into how dealing with all of this crazy, impacted him. That being said, Burroughs isn't that kind of writer and I still love him.
In order to read and love this book you have to be willing to see past the abuse and neglect and fear and embrace his childhood in the same way the author did. Ultimately, this is a story about survival. I'd love to see the movie and see if it does it justice.
As for what is sitting on my nightstand right now, here is a list:
1. "Pig Candy- Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home--A Memoir", by Lise Funderburg
2. "The Kid" by Dan Savage
3. "The Year of Magical Thinking", by Joan Didion
4. "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius", by Dave Eggers
5. "Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir" by Lauren Slater
I know that is a plethora of non-fiction. It's just what I'm into right now being in the process of researching some writing styles so there you go. Let me know if you're read any of the books I just finished and what you thought and if you plan on reading any on my list to read during April. Oh and if you have any books you'd like to recommend, please let me know. I'm always keeping a look-out for a good read!