I’ve spent half of December with my head in my hands (who amongst us hasn’t?) and the other half with my head in a book. If you’re hoping to escape this festive period via the medium of a good page-turner like I am, look no further. Here’s what I’ve been reading and loving lately:
Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption – Edited by Daniel Jones
I cried through the TV show, I cried through the columns and I cried through the podcast, with just enough energy left to read the book. A collection of stories taken from the New York Times’ infamous Modern Love column, each one explores the complexities, nuances, difficulties and joys of love, be it romantic, parental or platonic. Just don’t read on a packed Easyjet flight as I did.
Calypso – David Sedaris
I fell deep into a David Sedaris shaped hole this year, but it was Calypso that solidified my love for his razor-sharp wit. Part memoir, part collection of rambling observations, Calypso is a masterclass in finding humour in the bleak and mundane. From the death of family members to his obsessive desire to surpass 1000 steps a day, there’s an unavoidable focus on the passing of time, and his approach to life on realising that he has more time behind him than ahead.
Just Kids – Patti Smith
I’ve included this just in case I’m not the last person in the world to read Patti Smith’s epic memoir, chronicling her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. From teenage pregnancy to life in New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, she views life through a beautifully poetic lens. Most interesting though is the pairs’ trajectory from mercilessly poor teenagers to the upper echelons of New York’s art scene. A perfect read.
Big Girl, Small Town – Michelle Gallen
Earlier this year, I was given a proof of Michelle Gallen’s debut novel, due out in Spring 2020, and couldn’t recommend it enough. Young Majella lives a quiet life in an Irish border town during The Troubles, where she works six days a week in the local chippy, wears the same clothes every day, and shares the same mundane conversations with punters. Much like Majella, we become comfortably entrenched in the safety of her day to day, until something changes, and she might just have found a way out.
Follow Louse on Twitter