“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” ~ Marina Keegan
I just finished reading a collection of essays and stories by Marina Keegan and I have to say that knowing she passed away and that her work was published together in book form by those who were close to her made me feel differently while reading this book. I read all her words closely and many of her short stories kind of foreshadowed her death. Obviously, that’s not what she intended, but I couldn’t help but make connections between her works of fiction with reality.
Marina is praised for being such a great author at a such young age and I have to agree. Her stories made me flashback to my college days and relive some of the topics she wrote about. Her most popular story, The Opposite of Loneliness, is really a metaphor on life. She loves the community at Yale and how students are bonded together by this commonality, and that’s she’s fearful of the future outside the security of these walls, but she knows that living in the present and what is to come will be okay. I think that her words can resonant with people of all stages of their lives and it’s important to remember to breathe and to live life to the fullest every day because you never know what might happen.
“The middle of the universe is tonight, is here, And everything behind is a sunk cost.” ~ Marina Keegan, from the poem “Bygones”
“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It’s a story about Ove, who has lost his one true love, his wife Sonja, and how he wants to give up his own life because he doesn’t see purpose in life anymore. While he tries to come up with multiple ways to end his life, he always gets interrupted by something happening in his neighborhood.
Ove seems to be bothered by the fact that nobody in his neighborhood will let him carry out his mission, but secretly he loves that he feels needed and is reluctant to help his neighbors even though he knows he can fix whatever it is faster and more efficient then them. He likes to complain about young people, cars, hospitals, coffeeshops and everything and anything else. The book is filled with many quirky characters and Ove is the quirkiest of them all.
It’s a beautifully written novel about loss, love, acceptance and moving on. It’s sad, heartbreaking and funny all at the same time. You may even tear up a bit. Take the time to read each chapter and to appreciate them as they are. The connections between the chapters will all make sense, eventually, so take your time reading and soak up all the words. I highly recommend reading this book and definitely read it in a coffeeshop (you’ll understand)…
“Love is strange. It takes you by surprise.”
Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham, was a good choice for my first book of the year. It’s a light-hearted book with quirky stories of her life and how she became an actress. I picked up this book because of the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. I watched all the episodes in real time years ago, but this past summer I re-watched the entire series. It was a bit nostalgic for me, as well as Lauren, because I remembered where I was when I first watched the show.
I even made my friend, Brian, stand in a two hour line out in the freezing cold to go drink coffee at a Luke’s Diner pop-up all the way in Geneva. I’m glad we can laugh about our experience now! I liked the new episodes. I thought they were entertaining and wrapped up where the show had left off before. I’m wondering if there will be another season because as Lauren hints, the ending was bit of a cliffhanger, not an end-end. Well, time will tell if that happens.
While reading the book, I kept thinking that we would be great friends in real life. She’s so funny and very relatable. I actually laughed out loud at some parts and even cried. She has some really great relationship and life advice that actually make sense. She also talks about Parenthood, another great tear-jerker-of-a-show. I liked reading about some of the behind the scenes things that happened on both of these shows.
If you like either of these shows or need an uplifting read, I recommend this book.