I like books. I mean, I really like books. I have 5 floor-to-ceiling bookcases overflowing with double-stacked books and at least 5 storage bins of more books in my garage. I've read every single one. I don't like to give my books away because they feel like friends. Yes, I'm weird. I've rediscovered fiction (and some memoir--because I can't resist) and have been devouring books at an alarming pace. I read the following books this past month:
Flight Behavior: Dellarobbia is a smart woman trapped in small-town, Appalachia. She is about to self-destruct via an adulterous affair when she discovers a miracle: an entire population of butterflies that has landed in the forest behind her house. The big story here is climate change. The small story here is a family falling apart. It's an interesting, well-plotted story with a colorful--if sometimes cartoonish--array of characters. The ending is somewhat unsatisfactory, but I guess that's what you get when the world is ending. Rating: 4 stars.
Foreskin's Lament: I rocketed through this memoir screaming with laughter. I never knew Orthodox Judaism was so similar to fundamentalist Christianity. Shalom Auslander allows himself to be angry, depressed and flawed. Underneath the rage is such a pure, unvarnished pathos that I was brought to tears. I loved every single page of this book. Rating: 5 stars.
Elders: a debut novel that tells the story of two Mormon missionaries struggling to reconcile their faith with doubts and their sexuality with codes of Mormon conduct. This book is no anti-Mormon screed, but rather a thoughtful and humane look at young men trying to grapple with their faith. Although I found some of the preaching passages rather long-winded and unwieldy, the story itself is heartbreaking and heartfelt. I read this book in one day! Rating: 3.5 stars.