tHoL Part 1

This is preliminary post for preparation of a review of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. A Part 1, you could say.


Dear Book Blogging,

I must thank you for the steps put into play from my earliest book blogging days that lead me to the latest book I have just finished.

I recall those early days…  a lot of memes involving lists of books and I had such fun crossing off titles I had read and noting which ones I hadn’t.

One of those was The Little Prince by (a French guy with a name that sadly I cannot type from memory – I always have to look it up probably because I am clueless at pronunciation) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I hadn’t read The Little Prince as a kid or I had forgotten, so I searched for it. Then I went on to read his memoir Wind, Sand and Stars (and have committed to reading it again because right after I read it, I wanted to start again, but haven’t yet.  It’s THAT good.)


I thank you, Book Blogging, for enticing me to attempt Ulysses.   I didn’t finish in a timely manner (ok, I didn’t finish) but keep thinking I might return to it someday.   I got enough to now get some of the cultural references that pop up here and there.


I thank you for suggesting I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer which I didn’t recommend but DID second in a vote for a book club read last year.   I loved it.  (It was my third time to attempt but once I committed, I was WOWed.)

I also had placed The History of Love on my tbr somehow along the way.     One day, while at the library perusing their book sale shelf, I saw this and knew immediately that the $2 price was not an obstacle.    I could NOT have told you ANYTHING about the plot.  In fact, I was constantly getting this book confused with Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

and then BAM!

Last week, on a blog somewhere* in the interwebs, I see a mention that the authors of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close AND The History of Love are married.    Huh.   AND that these novels in particular can be seen as companions or related or something – I forget now exactly what connection.

All I remember is “I didn’t know that.”

Off I march, up the stairs to look at the scattered piles of unread books on the floor of my craft room.   I search and find The History of Love, dust it off, peel the $2 sticker off that reminds me where I got it (and then wish I hadn’t peeled off the sticker) and begin to read.

It took a few days due to life interruptions, but by page 100, I don’t want to put the book down.  Saturday I was at an all day Memorial Day Weekend party wishing I could just escape and go back home and read.    Sunday morning, at 5:30 am, I start in and never stop.

By page 198, I start to sniffle.  “This is SOOOOoooo good!”

I SHOULD.   Get out more, join some clubs.  I should buy some new clothes, dye my hair blue, let Herman Cooper take me on a ride in his father’s car, kiss me, and possibly even feel my nonexistent breasts.  I should develop some useful skills like public speaking, electric cello, or welding, see a doctor about my stomachaches, find a hero that is not a man who wrote a children’s book and crashed his plane, stop trying to set up my father’s tent in record time, throw away my notebooks, stand up straight, and cut this habit of answering any questions regarding my well-being with a reply fit for a prim English schoolgirl who believes life is nothing but a long preparation for a few finger sandwiches with the Queen.

By page 202, the water works are really going.

I took a few steps into the room.  There was so much I wanted to say.
“I need you to be–” I said, and then I started to cry.
“Be what?” she said, opening her arms.

By the end, I’m a complete mess.    I just sit and hold the damn book; wondering why books can have so much power over my emotions.   (Which I LOVE.)

I tweet a few twitterings, “OMG!!  JUST FINISHED tHoL and LOOOOOOVVVVEEDDDD it!”

I sent an email to one of my bookclubbers telling her she HAS to read this and I will loan it to her.

Finally, dear Book Blogging, in total fear this post might turn people off to this book, I want to say that you do not need to read Wind, Sand and Stars, Ulysses nor Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to be moved by this story.  Not at all.   They are minor mentions, really, but ones that smacked ME with meaning because I *knew* something.     I was awed by the layering of my own experiences to make this book even more meaningful to me.

NOW.   Now I begin to write my review post.

* the lovely kiss a cloud blog’s review of ELaIC



Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

36 thoughts on “tHoL Part 1

  1. It’s a wonderful feeling when you feel so enthused by a book isn’t it?

    But, I wasn’t a big fan of either History of Love or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I’m curious to read more of your thoughts on History of Love (I read it pre-blogging so can’t exactly pinpoint my feelings on it)

    But, I bet husband/wife writers probably do influence each other’s writing whether they mean to or not. It’d be interesting to compare more of them! I’m trying to think of other spouses who write, and off the top of my head right now I can only think of Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris.

    1. Interesting. I’m still in preliminary draft mode but hope maybe tomorrow or Thursday I will have my review done. I might get sidetracked by all the reviews I’m finding.

  2. I love this post! I feel exactly the same way (both about book blogging and tHoL). I read it before blogging and it’s been one of my absolute favorite books ever since. Book blogging has introduced me to so many books I might never have picked up. I stumble upon titles I recognize in used books stores and think of my fellow bloggers, “So and so thought this was good” or “This blogger told me I HAD to read this.” My latest find is The Sparrow. So many bloggers listed this as a book they loved and the cover/summary looked uninteresting to me. I finally caved and read it and was blown away. Here’s to beautiful books and brilliant bloggers.

    1. Yes, Sparrow is on my tbr, too. I friend in real life told me I had to get that one and I recall not seeing it anywhere in blogland. And then all of a sudden, I see it everywhere as a must read! it’s crazy.

    1. Actually, Kathy, I’m starting to think that some books are meant for the right time. For example, Extremely Loud – I had attempted that multiple times before I really ‘got’ it.

        1. Cool! I wasn’t sure since I mentioned the Little Prince and the other one by the French pilot who wrote kids books. 🙂

  3. What a fun post! Love the quotes you chose. I’m also a fan of Antoine de Saint-Exupery and cannot ever remember how his name is pronounced. I didn’t care for The Little Prince, but I loved Flight to Arras.

  4. Wow! So I guess it is fair to say you more or less liked it then? I didn’t know those authors were married either, and I feel like I should have known that, I’ve read interviews with both of them though never any of their books.

    (I have noticed that “being” and “begin” have the same letters, several times, but in between I always forget that they do, because there’s nothing I can do with that knowledge.)

    1. I know, what can one do with fun facts like how many words can you create out of so many letters? I guess you can be a Boggle Champion (my family LOVES to play Boggle; my hub hates it, though.)

  5. This was such a sweet post to read! I read this book with my bookclub probably four years ago. Within the first 20 pages I was crying on public transport. Such a moving book!

  6. Love this post!! Also loved tHOL. Books that have such an impact on me are usually the one I have the hardest times writing about though. I must read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close…

  7. Pingback: The History of Love (Part 2) « Care's Online Book Club

    1. I so get the affinity between these two books and yet they are different. Of course, if you said that these books both have kids that go out into NYC and meet people in the park, you would not be wrong.

  8. *hugs* This makes me want to read this so much now! I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and loved it so so much. I am so happy that I have bloggers in my life. I would have missed so much without them. 🙂

  9. Ok, i read your “real” post about The History of Love and I still just want to point people to this post when I finally getting around to jotting down my thoughts.

    I just finished this book last week and while it was a rough go with only reading 10ish pages at a time, little Elle was crying and I was trying to get her to sleep so I read the rest of the book to her. In a way that was a mistake because I got to the part about Bruno. And guuuuuuuuuuuush…we were both crying. I wanted to stop reading aloud but I couldn’t. So I sobbed the entire rest of the novel. ZOMG.

    It really is a fantastic read, huh? Yes, thank you book blogging for pushing me to read this one as well.

  10. Pingback: The History of Love – Nicole Krauss | My great WordPress blog

  11. Pingback: The History of Love – Nicole Krauss | Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity

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