Things I Love Lately: book edition

I have read some great books recently, and so this month’s Things I Love is about them.  What have you read and loved lately?  I’d love to hear.

Catastrophic Happiness– I love, love, love, LOVED Catherine Newman’s new memoir.  I was honored to review Catherine’s book for Brain, Child, and that review is here.  I’m an unapologetic Catherine Newman fangirl and have been since, oh, the beginning of time. This book is just so wonderful.  I’m giving it to everyone I know.  I underlined basically the whole thing, and can’t possibly give you a favorite quote, so here are just two I adore: “I don’t always understand my own sadness. Me and my Achilles heart.” “Loss is ahead of us, behind us, woven into the very fabric of our happiness.”

In Twenty Years – Allison Winn Scotch’s new novel, out this summer, is flat-out marvelous.  No doubt I related particularly intensely to this story because Allison’s protagonists and I are the same age, and the details in their college flashbacks are incredibly resonant for me.  Beyond my personal identification, though, this is a poignant story about the formative friendships that stay with us, in ways difficult and wonderful, as we grow into adults.  It’s about the people who stood next to us as we became who we are, and the ways that history is braided throughout the present.

The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New – Annie Dillard’s book of essays is as spectacular as you’d imagine.  I love what Marilynne Robinson says (talk about one idol blurbing another) on the inside flyleaf: “Annie Dillard’s books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event.”

Grace, Whit and I enjoyed a couple of new picture books recently, also:

Very Last First Time (Jan Andrews) – a reader recommended this book and I was worried it would make me incredibly sad because of the title alone.  But we finally read it and it was marvelous. A bittersweet story, for sure, but also one that explores a world I didn’t know about.  The story and the pictures are gorgeous.

Iggy Peck, Architect (Andrea Beaty) – we already love Rosie Revere, Engineer. In Beaty’s trademark lighthearted poetry and wonderful illustrations, this story talks about another resourceful, determined child.  It is inspiring and fun.  We are all looking forward to Ada Twist, Scientist.

I write these Things I Love posts approximately monthly.  You can find them all here.

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  1. Posted April 6, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I just finished the novel Every Anxious Wave. It reminded me of the movie High Fidelity, but with time travel.

    admin Reply:

    I will check it out! xox

  2. Posted April 6, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Allison Winn Scotch is one of my faves! I keep requesting her book on NetGalley, but no response so far. I can’t wait to read In Twenty Years!

    admin Reply:

    I look forward to hearing what you think!

  3. Nadine
    Posted April 6, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Oh, I love how this post is just books (I always love them either way, though). I love how I always find inspiration, and so many of the books you have recommended have resonated with me.
    I will certainly get Annie Dillard’s book, and am intrigued about some of the others. Thank you for always suggesting books I would not have found on my own.

    admin Reply:

    I’m so happy to know that you’ve read things I mentioned and liked them. Dillard is just otherworldly as far as I’m concerned. She’s the pinnacle.

  4. Posted April 6, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Love the recommendations, Lindsey. Thank you.

    admin Reply:

    Thank YOU! xo

  5. Posted April 6, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Adding In Twenty Years to my Goodreads list immediately, though I fear it may bring some difficult emotions to the surface for me. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I’m (slowly) making my way through Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and have been hungrily rereading all of my Anna Quindlen non-fiction in anticipation of seeing her on her book tour in a few weeks. I can’t wait.

    admin Reply:

    Oh, how wonderful to see Anna Quindlen!!

  6. Gale
    Posted April 6, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I just finished reading “A Tale of Two Cities” for the first time and I loved it so much. It ranks with “The Grapes of Wrath” on my list of Best Endings Ever. I’ve also been on a short fiction bender lately, and have been bouncing around between Flannery O’Connor, Checkov, and Elizabeth Strout.

    admin Reply:

    Smiling to myself – short AND super long fiction, eh? I have never read A Tale of Two Cities. I clearly need to. xox

  7. Posted April 6, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It’s been a big reading year for me with many beautiful memoirs most of which have already been mentioned in your blog but also many other books that are not typical reads for me. I loved The Light of The World by Elizabeth Alexander and stayed up late into the wee hours to listen to the incredibly powerful Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates but also really found these books good reads: So you’ve been publicly Shamed and Ready Player One. I found them through recommendations on a podcast I love and they were excellent. I never would have found them on my own. I recently wrote a couple of blog posts about my reading adventures on Reading catastrophic happiness and The Narrow Door right now and savoring both. Love these posts Lindsey. Thank you!

  8. Posted April 6, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I love hearing about what you’re enjoying, Lindsey. Catastrophic Happiness is high up on my to-read list. I also adored Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect. Such fun and smart books for kids, plus wonderful illustrations. Right now I’m savoring H is for Hawk and perusing one too many memoir books by the likes of Mary Karr and Beth Kephart.

  9. Allison Winn Scotch
    Posted April 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Allie – I can’t figure out how to reply directly to you, but if you email me directly, I can get you an arc on NetGalley. 😉

    And thank you so much for the lovely words, L!

  10. Posted April 11, 2016 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed In Twenty Years, too!!

    Cannot wait to read Catherine’s.