What I’ve Been Reading

The most recent two books I’ve finished have been “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer.

“Station Eleven” follows a common thread connecting strangers, lovers, and acquaintances that are all touched by this one thing. As the narrative flashes back and forth in time, we see their lives before and leading up to, during and after an outbreak of a flu that destroys civilization as we know it. An amazing read that surely reveals something new in each heart each time it is read. Highly recommended. A few quotes below:

“Survival is Insufficient” (originally from Star Trek: Voyager, and yes, the book acknowledges that)

“Hell is the absence of people you long for.”

“First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” addresses how we cope with loss. It’s pages and pages and pages of very real ways in which we process grief, loss, sadness and a whole gamut of complex human emotions. The main character is a boy who lost his dad in 9/11. I cried and I read and read until I finished it – all in one day. It’s not a short book, just emotionally gripping. Highly recommended (disclaimer: the author, Jonathan Safran Foer, also authored one of my favorite books ever, “Everything is Illuminated.” I may be biased.) . A few quotes below:

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

“It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn’t think about my life at all.”

“I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me.”

Next up: “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman and “Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner” by Claire Watson Garcia

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