I've been reading some really lovely books lately, so here is a fresh list of some great books if you're looking for something to read: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. I've been particularly soul-searchy these days, and this allegory about a shepherd journeying to fulfill his personal legend spoke straight to my heart (PS Coelho was inspired to write this book while he was on The Camino De Santiago! Ring a bell?). "You are never able to escape from your heart, so it is better to listen to what it has to say."
Dear Life by Alice Munro. A collection of short stories good enough to land her the Nobel Prize in Literature (NBD), this was the perfect book to accompany this December when I was flying all over the place and didn't have huge chunks of time to sit down and read. My favorite was the very first story, "To Reach Japan": "Writing this letter is like putting a note in a bottle - and hoping it will reach Japan."
The Most Of Nora Ephron, curated by Robert Gottlieb. I'm still working my way through this one because it's MASSIVE, but it's such a great book to have in the house. This is a collection of most of Ephron's work, from news articles to essays, her novels, some scripts and screenplays, blog posts... it's a treasure. “Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is faking it.” (Personal Essay). And, “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.” (From "I Feel Bad About My Neck).
If you love something, let it go. If you don't love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything, who cares.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This was on my reading list for one of my classes, and it was such a great novel; it's a satire about a dystopian future that basically tears apart capitalism, feminism, chauvinism, religion, politics, and everything else. Oh, and written in incredibly stunning poetic prose the whole way through. "'I know what you mean' we'd say. Or, a quaint expression you still sometimes hear, still, from older people: 'I hear where you're coming from,' as if the voice itself were a traveler, arriving from a distant place. Which it would be, which it is." And, "This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter. I want to be with someone...But this is wrong, nobody dies from lack of sex. It's lack of love we die from." And, "Luke was in the livingroom. He put his arms around me. We were both feeling miserable. How were we to know we were happy, even then? Because we at least had that: arms, around."
What books have you been reading lately?