I looked over Jessbrarian’s posts to see that it has been over 1 year since posting!
Jessbrarian Fact: Reading in the 2021 through 2022 timeframe has been harder
for Jessbrarian than in the past.
The world has changed. We’ve lived and are living through a pandemic.
Or are we? Who can say at this point without it being some sort of political statement?!
So I won’t say a thing.
I will simply say some real real good books have been read.
What also happened is I now have an affiliate account with Bookshop.com.
Link coming soon!
For now I’ll tell ya the two books I read this past summer that are still on my mind and well, you should read them, too.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel is one of the most beautiful books I have ever – ever! – read.
The humanness of it all and the prose and the ebbs and flow.
It was both the subject matter AND the way it was written. It was definitely a “what does it all mean?” kind of book hidden in a very entertaining story.
A tale weaving in and out of times and time frames and simulations and authentic life.
This critique is coming from a writer (me!) who absolutely adored another book written by this author – Station Eleven so I am floored by how much I enjoyed Sea of Tranquility and am choosing to call is one of my Top 3 of the year!
Like many readers, I have very high expectations of an author once I have completed a book that I have adored by that author. Sometimes I don’t even try to read an author twice. (Seems dramatic, right?)
It’s not my immediate reaction (sometimes) to pick up their next book.
With Emily St. John Mandel and Sea of Tranquility however, I had read so much about this author (interviews and podcasts and articles, oh my!) because Station Eleven was made into a TV series. Also, watching the series while it showed a different side of the book by virtue of simply being live motion and not in my head, it also reminded me throughout how much I had loved reading the book.
Usually a motion picture (or TV show) about a book just gives you what you know and because Station Eleven had so many layers itself as a book, the TV show was able to also be beautiful, charming, entertaining and have the meaning of life hidden within its paces, pauses and turns.
While reading Sea of Tranquility I smiled a lot and I am very much looking forward to the TV series and to Emily St. John Mandel’s next book.
My next top summer 2022 read was Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. This book might be in my top 3 books ever.
I don’t know.
Here’s why I just said I don’t know:
I have already recommended it to a bunch of people. One reader friend had already read it and not liked it. Another reader friend contacted me while listening to the audio book with the comment that it was too long.
The truth is, as I write this, I realize it is NOT one of my Top 3 ever!
Just top of the summer or past few years.
I DID skip through a chapter and well, I made the executive decision (as the executive in charge of all that I read! Haha) that I could still authoritatively, as a reader, comment on the book without having read the chapter from end to end. I did read the ends of that chapter.
That is, I read the beginning of the chapter and skipped about 3-8 pages of it and then read the remainder of the chapter.
I was excited to move past this particular section of the book and get back to the main characters of the book. (not a spoiler but, I guess, not not a spoiler?)
To me, this book is about Sam and Sadie’s friendship and I just love love loved it!
Nowadays (2022) I am caught up a bit with how binary life has been and how processing the pandemic after processing moving from my home state a few years ago, has opened up my mind that there is no right or wrong way to live. No binary, if you will.
To be a New Yorker all your life and then not live in NY and yet I am still a New Yorker, I just don’t reside there has been illuminating. I know, it sounds silly to see that written in print but you just have to stay with me.
It had been just a two-sided game prior to the move. Like, there were only two ways. And that is just not true.
Same with friendship. There aren’t two ways to have a friendship (or three for that matter). I have always known this, and so I truly was enamored with how the book presents the main friendship. There is no gimmick. It was a story told in a direct manner. I am reveling in how well it was done and how deeply it brought me in to believing these two fictional characters exist.
The friendship of Sam and Sadie is not a straight line and they are not always there for each other and they miss some things in each others lives, but the non linear-ness of the friendship is what I dug.
Writing like this is giving me a twinge of recall to Sally Rooney’s books in the way her characters have sexual relationships and sometimes they don’t. I don’t know if other readers would agree that these books are similar in some way – – in that way? This book is not like Sally Rooney’s at all in the actual text though perhaps in this subtexts it is. Cool.
Read it and tell me what you think!