Book #36 of the year was The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen. This is the story of Jessica, a runner who is injured in an accident and has to have her leg amputated. This is a new kind of race she's never experienced. The first section of the book is called "The Finish Line," because Jessica feels as though her life - and certainly her running - is over. But is it?
Book #37 was Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark, by Addie Zierman. I loved this book and the extended metaphor of confused, mixed-up faith. Here's a synchroblog the author launched the day the book came out.
Book #38 was Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings. This is a story of long friendships, centered around the summer camp where the protagonists meet as teenagers. One of my favorite aspects of this book is that perhaps the central relationship in it is a platonic friendship between a man and a woman. I can hardly think of another book where this is the case.
Book #39 was Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, a book about creativity. Gilbert has such an appealing voice, and I enjoyed her take on writing.
When I described book #40, In Other Words, by one of my favorite authors, Jhumpa Lahiri, to my daughter, she responded that it was the most me book she could imagine. It's about writing and our relationship to language. Lahiri grew up speaking Bengali at home and English everywhere else, and as an adult she decided to learn Italian and start writing in it exclusively. She wrote this book in Italian and someone else translated it into English. In these essays and short stories she explores her connection to each of her three languages and how they have formed her identity as a woman and a writer. My daughter was right: this book resonated strongly with me as someone who has a bit of a complicated relationship to several different languages.
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