I first discovered Joan Didion's writing via Tavi Gevinson's blog, The Style Rookie, several years ago. In which Tavi talked about an essay Joan DidioI first discovered Joan Didion's writing via Tavi Gevinson's blog, The Style Rookie, several years ago. In which Tavi talked about an essay Joan Didion had written on keeping a notebook. I still have that essay saved on my computer. The first book by Joan Didion that I read was A Year of Magical Thinking, in I want to say 2012 but my Goodreads account is having a hissy fit right now so I can't be completely sure. I remembered thinking wow her writing is just something else, unique, quirky, and she thinks, wonders and questions herself the way I do - it was a Sylvia Plath moment for me. I had always intended to seek out more of her works but life as it does got in the way and the goal got pushed to the back of my head. Fast forward to October 2014 and on searching for classic literature tips for appreciation and recommendations on YouTube I come across Ashley from ClimbTheStacks and noticed her author spotlight on, you guessed it, Joan Didion. Ashley mentioned Blue Nights in the video and the description drew me in. I had previously read Joan's journey of grieving for her late husband and was drawn to Blue Nights as it was about losing her adopted daughter, Quintana. It has a melancholy and beautiful tone with many memorable and now for me bookmarked passages that I will revisit for years to come. I'm glad I got to reconnect and rediscover this inspiring author and woman. Also a thumbs up to Kimberly Farr for a pleasant and engaging narration of the audiobook. ...more
Matt has a lot of sh*t going on right now: his younger brother, Luke, committed suicide, his neglectful jock father is bringing his high-school sweethMatt has a lot of sh*t going on right now: his younger brother, Luke, committed suicide, his neglectful jock father is bringing his high-school sweetheart home for weekend sleepovers and his mother has rediscovered her God roots. Matt is pretty sure God doesn’t exist and he’s having a hard time figuring out his on again off again Christian girlfriend to even consider whether he can forgive his father and ultimately himself for his part in his brother death. It’s a story of questions, regrets, realistions, forgiveness and the possibility of hope.
I admittedly went into this story expecting something else, a true atheists tirade on the faithfuls foolishness but what I actually read was a very moving thought provoking journey in Ellen Hopkins classic punchy prose.
Some passages that resonated with me:
In the narrow pewter space between the grey of consciousness and the obsidian where dreams ebb and flow, there is a wishbone window. And trapped in it’s glass, a single silver shard of enlightenment. Some say death is a doorway, belief is the key. Others claim you only have to stumble across the threshold to glimpse a hundred billion universes in the blink of a single silver shard.
It’s a total lie not sure there’s been a single day of my life when everything was totally fine. And now? The best I can say is once in a while I’m not somersaulting in chaos. Why can’t we ever just have fun? No one answered pretty much the story of my life, at least where my parents are concerned. Too caught up in their personal tangles of pain, disappointments, and tomorrows made murky by yesterdays.
My personal corner of the world has never been rich with happiness. Overall, joy has been in short supply. It’s funny, because when you’re a little kid, it doesn’t take much to spark satisfaction - you master fractions or land a ridiculous jump on your bike. You go looking for fun, create it with your friends. Yeah I got that my mum and dad were a little off but my memoir was all a single chapter then, unmarred by major transitions. And now, the pages are shredding, my life disintegrating.
I need order. I’m used to order. Artificially constructed, yes, I understand that. And easy. That stinking word again. familiar pressure builds in my chest. My breath flutters like sparrows wings. Inhale. Palms up. Exhale. Palms down.
The sun has disappeared again behind a droopy grey blanket, and a colourless shroud has cloaked everyone’s mood.
File that under things I never even considered. Perspective is an amazing thing. Sometimes it takes distance to find it, and when you’re not used to looking very far beyond your invented walls, it might take a fresh pair of eyes.
(Basically the entirety of Matt’s letter to the school board about not censoring Perks of Being a Wallflower from libraries) but most importantly the last paragraph. There are young people who need books to speak for them. And there are others who need books to speak to them. Perks is a necessary book for all. Please keep it on our bookshelves, with unrestricted access. And please don’t allow a clearly prejudiced few to decide for the rest of this community what we may or may not read.
I’d like to quit being offended, stop feeling like I don’t belong in the home I grew up in and lived in my entire life.
But maybe normal is overrated because abnormal me has discovered that I’ve got a lot to live for. ...more
I went in to these novellas hoping to understand and maybe begin to like Tobias/Four but he's so shallow there's nothing to learn and his arc is generI went in to these novellas hoping to understand and maybe begin to like Tobias/Four but he's so shallow there's nothing to learn and his arc is generally trying-to-hard melodramatic. A disappointing trudge to get through nothing of any interest and the same irritating underdeveloped character, cliched, repetitive no show all tell delivery.
Bit of a drawn out predictable disappointment. I liked the idea of thin spaces and would have appreciated more depth into the historical Celtic beliefBit of a drawn out predictable disappointment. I liked the idea of thin spaces and would have appreciated more depth into the historical Celtic beliefs regarding it but it was side lined for mediocre writing, underdeveloped characters and fist fights. The only up shot was witnessing how not to counsel someone which helped my studies. ...more