So since signing up for the Reading Challenge 2012, I have read two books. Both of them were excellent, and now I shall tell you about them.
The Gathering by Anne Enright is narrated by Veronica Hegarty, one of 12 Hegarty children who grew up and live in Ireland. Their brother Liam commits suicided by drowning himself, and the family prepares to come together for his funeral and wake. To me, Veronica’s odd behaviour, her stories of the history of her family – either true or made up – and her memories, either false or real (she herself isn’t entirely sure that what she remembers actually happened) paint a realistic picture of what it’s like during the grieving process. Way too much goes on in your head; there is often guilt and pain and love and so many other emotions battling and rattling around and it can drive you fucking crazy. And maybe because I am so freshly out of that kind of grieving process I could relate to Veronica and her pain and her stream of consciousness rememberings and musings. I don’t know. I just know that somehow Enright managed to create a beautiful and terrible book that I managed to devour in less than 3 days.
Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. This is a fantastic story of 3 seemingly unrelated characters who are actually – distantly and strangely – connected. Each character ends up in Montreal for different reasons and with different expectations. I honestly have no idea how else to describe this book, it’s kind of quirky set of characters, there are pirates, fish markets, a book without a cover, cartography and – as they say – much, much more. A seriously amazing story, goegeously written – or translated, I should say (the original was in French) – and highly recommended.
So there you have it! Two home runs right off the top, I am on a roll.
In other news I am going to turn 45 on Monday. It’s not exactly a milestone birthday, although the next big one is 50 which kind of freaks me out a little bit, I’m not going to lie. I can remember my parents’ 50th birthday party at our cottage with a bunch of their friends who were also turning 50 and someone had this great idea to make “50 is Nifty!” shirts for the men and aprons – fucking aprons! – for the women. I am pretty sure I said right then and there (I would have been 18) that I would seriously cut anyone who ever gave me ANYthing with 50 and nifty on it. Particularly a fucking apron. Is there a catchy slogan for 45? Like “Still Alive at 45!” “45 and You’ve Got Drive!” I don’t know. Whatever it is, it better not end up on an apron or a cake or anything. I will report back.
And now I’d like to leave you with the song that has been in my head since the first time I heard it, and has no real plans of leaving any time soon. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact.