As a child, much of my world revolved around reading. I moved through books at a clip, never enough hours in the day. But over the last few years there's been very little reading. In my undiagnosed state, I attributed my sieve like brain and inability to concentrate to an overbooked life, not a thyroid condition. I traded reading for television, entertaining, but not always the most satisfying.
At any rate, as I'm getting back on track and find that my brain is working again, I've managed to read a book in 3 days, rediscovering how much I love to read. I picked an especially good book to start with, Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, which has been on my nightstand forever.
I knew just a few pages in that I was on to something good. There are just stories and styles of writing that fill me with a little ache while I'm reading, a sense of longing that I can't quite articulate. That feeling almost gives me goose bumps, an awareness of being in the presence of quiet greatness. That's what I felt during the entire length of this book.
Unlike a typical novel, Olive Kitteridge is a collection of 13 interconnected stories that shed light on small town life and its inhabitants, their tragedies, disappointments and failures, their expectations and quiet joys. I've read reviews that declared it "depressing," but I am of an age where I don't require the feel good endings. Yes, I appreciate happiness, but I also appreciate the complexities, the hard fought, honest and mature perspective of human beings who've fully engaged in life. It's a wonderful, thoughtful read. I highly recommend it.
As for myself, it's great to be back in action! I'm so excited I can't even decide what to read next. Too many books, never enough time. There are worse dilemmas to have.
P.S. HBO has turned this book into a four-part miniseries starring Frances McDormand as Olive Kitteridge. It's set to air in November.