Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Sentence

Another Sunday in which I participate in the Sunday Sentence Project (#SundaySentence on Twitter):

"Books don't make a home - they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside."

from Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson

I just finished reading this book with my Advanced Memoir Workshop, and it's been an odd experience for me. On the one hand I didn't like the book, on the other it had so many great insights and turns of phrase like the one above that I was constantly grabbing my pencil and underlining. I haven't quite figured out why I didn't like this memoir; I was always reluctant to pick it up, but then kept on reading because I loved the narrator's philosophical insights or occasional pithy comments. I think I didn't like the narrator herself, and I often felt rushed along in the story, especially when she was sharing her rather terrific insights. It is weird to have a book with many spots underlined and pages dog eared (my way of marking pages I want to return to) and yet feeling happy I'm done with it and wanting to put into my book donation bag.

6 comments:

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    1. William, yes, it's nice, isn't it, to think of a book as a space?

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  2. Hi Annette - I tried to post a comment before but it doesn't look like it worked. I was surprised that you disliked the book so much when I could not put it down. Loved it and thought it resonated. But I like the fact that we did not experience it the same way - it reassures me that there are audiences for all kinds of memoirs.

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    1. Steph - indeed, we don't all have to like the same books. The world would be quite boring otherwise. Glad it resonated with you.

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  3. Interesting. This sent me back to my own review, positive but somewhat incoherent. I said in it I wanted to read the book again, I think because it was hard to hold in my mind. So expository, and even so, stories take off. But one of my standards for whether a book was good for me personally is that I do remember it or what it did, and with Winterson's it's kind of gone . . .

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    1. Richard, I agree with your excellent criteria! I have even found that sometimes a book I don't particularly like while reading it still stays with me and often leaves a stronger impression than the books I love while reading. Curious, isn't it?

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