I'm finally making some progress (good progress) on the Read 50 Books in a Year Challenge that I set out for myself in January. I've been behind for the last few months, but I'm gaining on the goal (and making up the deficit) which makes me feel like a winner. April was a month of insanely delightful reading.
Seriously, insanely delightful. I read 3 books that were impossible to put down. And then there was one that was... A love-hate sort of read.
It's a must read. And a can't put it down. So, treat yourself.
Wow. That's how this book left me. I adore Kelly Corrigan's Foreward Medium interviews on YouTube, so I was thrilled when I serendipitous-ly stumbled upon her writing in the library just a few weeks later. The entire book hinges on Corrigan's mother and a quote from her childhood, "Your father is the glitter, but I am the glue." Initially I was nervous that an entire 216 pages could result from a single sentence, but this book is so much more than parent-child relations.
Corrigan illustrates her childhood while being a nanny to two children who've lost their mother to cancer. I quickly came to adore her affections for these two kids and their family, while cheering for her as she discovers her mother in herself. As a woman who recognizes my mom in my flesh more often than not, I found comfort in her process, felt joy in her fondness, and celebrated the way the words came together in beautiful, relational strokes.
Oooph. The entire reading of this book was love and hate. Deeply love and then loathe. In fact, I set the book down a couple of times and swore I was done. But then, somehow, I came back. I think it's because Donald Miller wrote it and his Blue Like Jazz was the first book that made me want to write my own story. His transparency that I loved in Blue Like Jazz he continued here. I was blown away by his honesty in talking about his engagement and marriage, his troubled past relationships and the way they formed him as a partner.
But, If I'm entirely honest, I'm repelled by the name dropping and pre-Madonna writing experiences. I want to be impressed by your life, by your grit and your work, not by the places you go and the people you text. I want to identify with your struggle without being distracted by the way you live.
The actual content -that which is apart from the distracting, fancy details- is rich. It's convicting and wise. It's applicable and made me think about my own approach to relationships and intimacy (and not even the sexy kind). But, I wished he'd heard himself a bit more, I still felt like he donned the "costume" he said to remove, and I wanted so desperately for there to be more than that for him and his wife.
This entire book came from a blog post. Yes, a single article that became an ENTIRE novel. Well, it's sort of a charge, not totally a book, but so inspirational nonetheless. I found myself thinking more critically and honestly about the things I create to discourage myself, the procrastination I love to hate, and the deep desire I have to make. It's not about figuring it all out or about having the answers right now, but an encouragement to grasp your process, choosing constantly to move forward in the Must of your life's mission.
Not only did I love the words and highlight and dog-ear, but the art. Oh the art, the beautiful watercolor art that fills the pages of this book. I wanted to tear out entire groups of pages and tape them all over because they just speak to me all over the place in their color and content. Please do yourself the favor and bring this baby home.
I'm also thrilled to get back on the Semi-Charmed Reading Challenge train again. I missed out on the winter one (it's so hard with all those holidays so close together in there), but I'm back and excited and GOING TO DOMINATE.
Here's my preliminary list:A Freebie (5 points):
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison (326 pages)
A book you have never heard of before (10 points):
The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam (336 pages)
A book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years (10 points):
Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner (320 pages)
A book that won a 2014 Goodreads “Best Book” award (10 points):
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso (256 pages)
A book by an author who is completely new to you (15 points):
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler (336 pages)
A book by an author you have read before (15 points):
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans (258 pages)
A book with "light" or "dark" in the title (15 points):
Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman (262 pages)
A book with the name of a city, state or country in the title (20 points):
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (261 pages)
A book with an animal on the cover (20 points):
A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas (208 pages)
A book that is part of a series with at least four books (25 points):
The Giver by Lois Lowry (240 pages)
A book that is longer than 500 pages long (25 points):
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (601 pages) OR A
A book with an alliterative title (30 points):