However please feel free to discuss your current read or join in the conversation in any way that you see fit.
I’m not sure there will be much amusement in this particular post.
A big part of my recent blah, blah, blah feelings have stemmed from the ill health of a much loved family member. Her peaceful passing this weekend now allows us to move onto what comes next.
As it turns out, one of the things that does not come next is Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing With Feathers.
Obviously it has some amazing qualities, that failed to move me at all, if the many Goodreads reviews are to be believed.
But don’t read this book if you are in the early stages of grief yourself.
Or you have no knowledge whatsoever about Ted Hughes.
Or if clever, experimental literature is not your thing.
Or if you’re feeling ‘meh’ about pretty much everything.
Which leads me to wonder about all the books about dying out there at the moment.
Why are we so obsessed with this topic right now?
The inevitable, unstoppable journey to our deaths is what defines all our lives.
It is the stuff of stories.
But right now, in the world of literature, we seem to be focused on the specifics of how we die.
What happens when we get that diagnosis, how do we face the treatments and the decline, why is this happening and what have we learnt along the way?
It’s curious that the title of this book called to me this afternoon.
Evidently, I was looking for some kind of solace, or deeper meaning.
I’m used to finding empathy and understanding and fellowship in my reading.
But I didn’t find it here.
Perhaps it’s too soon.
I was looking for a warm, comforting embrace.
Instead, this intellectual exercise left me cold, bemused and confused.
Is grief such a personal thing, that no one book can ever match our circumstances or describe our particular experience? Are we searching for something that cannot be found except in the hard-won, day-by-day process of just going through it?
I’m not looking for sympathy, answers or enlightenment, however for the first time in ages, I felt compelled to write something.
It didn’t feel right to confine this post to my usual Salon framework.
But if you’d like to share your latest read with us, then feel free to join in with the questions below in any way that suits you best.
Or if you’d like to share your thoughts on my book choice or topic, then please leave a comment.
I’ve been reminded this weekend that life is too short to read a book you don’t like, but sometimes they help us to define what we are really looking for.
What are you currently reading?
How did you find out about this book?
Why are you reading it now?
Which character do you relate to so far?