Read This…

I’ve been putting off reading this book that everyone in the blogosphere has raved about b/c i really really hate to cry. I mean, I can deal with a good drunk angry cry b/c that’s not a “real” cry, that’s just what i do from time to time when too much alcohol is consumed and some little switch is flipped in the wrong direction (this post is not about that though so i’m getting off track… )

The kind of cries i try to avoid are the ones that you literally cannot help, the ones that make it feel like someone is ripping your heart out of your chest and the tear ducts lose all control.
I hate to feel sadness.
Yes, I realize this is a normal human emotion that no one likes to feel and one we must all face and deal with at some point in our lives, but that is a discussion for my future therapist and not a random blog post, so I digress.
(Man, I can’t keep this on track!)

So as much as I hate and therefore avoid all subjects of potential sadness, I finally caved and decided to read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. It had a shocking 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and that is not something a reader like myself can ignore forever.

Needless to say, I loved the book. I finished it in a day, laughed out loud (literally) throughout most of it, and was hopelessly enthralled with the writing the entire way through. I’m not doing a book review- if you want that go to Amazon or GoodReads- I’m just going to say it’s an excellent book and well worth the last chapter or two of tears it demands. Read it for the pleasure of reading sentences like

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.”
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Read it to be grateful for your life, to feel the need to be a better person; to thank God for your parents and friends and health and everything good around you and not think one moment about what’s not.

Here’s to John Green’s idea of some really cool, brilliant “cancer kids” named Hazel and Augustus who somehow managed to make a healthy(ish) 31-yr-old change the way she views the world- at least for a couple of days. It’s not the Bible, but it’s a pretty damn good book….

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“Loving Frank”

I’m currently in the middle of reading “Loving Frank,” a beautifully written and in many ways tragic novel about Mamah Borthwick and her nearly 10 year relationship/affair with Frank Lloyd Wright (1907-1914).

It’s fascinating to become so thoroughly engrossed in the social issues of those times, with women’s rights, or lack thereof, being front and center. What’s crazy is that affairs, especially of public figures, are still considered newsworthy in our country- albeit so much more laughable than what they were in the early twentieth century. And while I’m certainly no advocate, I found it refreshing that a woman back then- in the face of such public scandal and humiliation and without even the right to vote- could still fight to live her life as she wished. I’ve especially enjoyed the relationship Mamah developed with the feminist poet and author, Ellen Key, who encourages Mamah (at least at first) to believe that “Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love. ”

It’s a struggle for women still today; but in the end, the guilt of what we should be often keeps us from becoming what we could… I hope that never happens to me…

Anyway, a great read and 2 thumbs up choice by “Book Club 2o11“. Next book is “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” which I’m actually really excited about! Send me some good book suggestions if you have any. I think my turn to pick is coming up in November and I’d be shamed for life if I pick a bad read… :|

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