This is all a very roundabout way to say that The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was an amazing book and went against every apprehension I had. As soon as I started to read it, I could not put it down. I felt completely immersed in the story – carried with the winds of the in-between with Maali – and I was utterly hooked. Personally, it has been a breath of utter fresh air to have found Karunatilaka’s novel at a time where I haven’t always felt on my reading A-game.
There have been many highs and lows, but I wanted to talk today about 5 ways grief has affected my reading in 2022.
Keegan is an Irish author who grew up in Ireland but she has also lived in the United States, Wales, and is now back in Ireland. Her writing, like all Irish writing seems to have to beauty and softness about it that I can’t quite explain, but truly love to read. I’ve written about my love of Irish authors a lot on this blog and one of my favourites is Niall Williams’ This is Happiness. You can read my review of Williams’ book here.
His latest work though is a very different kind of book. Instead of creating worlds in a well or alternate universes through tunnels, Murakami has released a book about his experiences as a career author, and in it, he details all the highs and lows of what it is really like to write books for over 35 years. In this book, he talks about each section being a speech rather than an essay or memoir, and I feel like that is perhaps the best way to think of this book. It does feel like Murakami is talking to you – delivering a speech at a graduation or event. Considering that Murakami rarely makes public appearances, he does this kind of speech writing well.
While Kelly memoir is about Alan, it is also about her own journey with finding love in her partnership with Alan, but also being able to love herself. It is a story of discovery through love and loss, and Joanne writes candidly about what her life will be like once Alan is gone. In many ways, it honours Alan and also caries his memory forward.
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I read Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner a few months ago now. It has rightfully been a best seller, a book of the year by all the major news outlets and reviews, and a general literary success across the globe. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone is reading it. In terms of algorithmic (internet) success – I should have written my ‘exclusive’ thoughts on the book long ago. But I didn’t.
I think everyone experiences the loss of a friendship at some stage in their life, sometimes multiple friendships and the reasons for these losses are vast, complex, and sometimes confusing. It can be as simple as a friend moving to a different state and losing touch. It can be from a fight. And it can also be a slow unwinding that can be anything from ghosting to drifting apart. We have a lot of words to describe romantic love and breakups – we have song after poem, after novel after film about romantic love. Although very little about friendships.
These questions are large and complex and cannot easily be answered, but I loved that Isaacson, like Ishiguro, asks us to address and think about these questions. It seems that many can agree that there is a possibility for gene editing to be used for the good of humanity, but where should we draw the line?
I love October as a month completely dedicated to all things spooky. I love to read scary books, I love to watch scary movies and T.V. shows, and it also coincides with Socktober – knitting as many socks as you can. With still a few days to go before Socktober ends, I am currently sitting on 3 pairs of socks with a fourth pair on the way. I have loved the challenge, but am also very ready to go back to my neglected knitting and crochet projects.