A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
I judged A Little Life by its cover: I was in a bookstore, saw the cover, and bought it. If I had read the back cover (a story following the lives and friendship of four boys), I would never have purchased it.
There are enough books about men out there, gimme some women, I would’ve thought.
Alas, I purchased it and spiraled deeply into the lives of Jude & Malcolm & JB & Willem. A devastatingly beautiful story about friendship and hardships—and an analysis of what makes life beautiful.
This book pulled me into a dark hole, especially in the end (one reader called it “devastation porn”). But sadness and darkness lead to gratitude and graciousness—and I was overwhelmed with both by the end of the reading.
American Cozy by Stephanie Pedersen
You know I love my hygge.
Stephanie Pedersen adapts this Danish art for the American home in her book, American Cozy:Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort & Happiness.
Hygge is the “Danish word for a quality of coziness that comes from doing simple things such as lighting candles, baking, or spending time at home with your family” (Cambridge Dictionary).
In a series of tips, Pedersen describes how to organize, entertain, eat, and exercise more easily.
My favorite is her explanation on why casually hosting friends and family in your home is an important part of hygge.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon
At first I thought I had a Bridget Jones spinoff on my hands. But Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was so much more.
I laughed out loud, felt mad and sad (simultaneously), and nodded in agreement at Ms. Oliphant’s bizarre musings on society.
Reading Eleanor Oliphant was like seeing the world through an extraterrestrial’s eyes—one who has just touched down to earth, resonates with humans on an emotional level, but is utterly confused by our society.
Eleanor is blunt, childish, traumatized (without her full knowledge), and curious.
She is genuine, but so so odd.
And curiously enough, she’s an inspiration and aspiration for us all.