Time for another reading report! As you might have figured from my last post, February and March were travel hectic, but I still managed to finish five books. Yey me! In no particular order, here they are.
All The Lovers In The Night, Mieko Kawakami
Two months later and I still don't have a clear opinion about this book. It's about loneliness and taking responsibility for one's life. If you enjoy slow-paced books about a person's internal life, this could be your jam. The ending made perfect sense.
“Their so-called spirituality is completely self-serving, designed to make them happy, or make the people around them think they’ve found some kind of happiness. It’s this shallow belief in immediate profit. They go around talking about seeing something big. As if everything they feel, everything they’re thinking, is so big, bigger than all of us. That’s what they do. They act like they’re all big, ready to share their happiness with everyone, when the only happiness they care about is their own. Like, why can’t they just keep all that stuff to themselves and leave the rest of us alone? I’m fine, I’ve had some drinks, but I’m not even close to drunk. I’m like a sponge, I swear.”
All the different things that I was feeling slipped away without actually disappearing from my mind, and I loosened up, as if a pane of glass had been placed between me and my experience, blurring things.
Transit (Outline #2), Rachel Cusk
I read the first book in the Outline series last year, and after reading A Life's Work in January, I'm officially a member of the Rachel Cusk fan club. I love her way with words and Transit is no exception.
Likewise, his sister would sometimes ask him to look after his little niece for a day or two, which gave him as big a dose of parenthood as he needed, as well as having the immense advantage that the child – who he liked a great deal – was returnable. I asked him what he used his freedom for, since he defended it so assiduously, and he looked somewhat taken aback.
Slightly more rooted in the narrator's perspective than the first one, it still mostly tells the story through interactions with others.
Loneliness, she said, is when nothing will stick to you, when nothing will thrive around you, when you start to think that you kill things just by being there.
I said it seemed to me that most marriages worked in the same way that stories are said to do, through the suspension of disbelief. It wasn’t, in other words, perfection that sustained them so much as the avoidance of certain realities.
I read this book in conjunction with doing my first Level 1 course in Authentic Relating, and I'll share more about that experience in a separate post. But if you want to connect better with people, this book is a good start.
“People become interesting when you become interested.” This is a constant reminder that my experience of the depth and vitality of a conversation is up to what I actively bring to it, not what is passively happening to me.
Mort, Terry Pratchett
One simply can not not love Terry Pratchett. The Discworld series is my mental comfort food, but the healthy kind. That does not leave you feeling bad about yourself afterward.
It wasn’t that he was unhelpful, but he had the kind of vague, cheerful helpfulness that serious men soon learn to dread.
‘It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,’ he said. ‘Have you thought of going into teaching?’
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh
I don't know, guys. I sort of liked it, and at the same time, it sort of bored me. Maybe because the character of a depressed privileged American is not particularly interesting to me at the moment, no matter how well-written and clever it is.
That was how I mourned, I guess. I paid strangers to make me feel good. I might as well have hired a prostitute, I thought. That’s kind of what Dr. Tuttle was years later, I thought—a whore to feed me lullabies.
Sanna says Newsletter
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