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.