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Two things.

May 30, 2011

Firstly, I’ve given up on War and Peace.

It breaks my heart, believe it or not. But I got wrapped up in other books, and other parts of life (the joy of the season is that I can be working in my yard!). What I read I loved. And I want to read it again – or the parts that I have read so far. I really enjoyed it, just could not be dedicated to it and other books. It is far too complex.

Secondly, I’ve finished Everything is Illuminated.

Last night as I was nearing the end, I heard a voice in my head. Don’t move on, it said. Read this book again. Right now. Figure out something else.

I did not listen. I’ve moved onto a new book. But I’ll be damned if I am not distracted by thoughts of Everything is Illuminated.

What a fantastic novel. I’m going to be mulling over it for a long time. I do think, though, that it has altered my understanding of what is included in a quality novel. It puts other books that I have read this year into perspective, and makes me want to reread some of them – just to see if they are actually as good as I remember.

This novel makes me think that they are not. They are not half as tightly constructed. Or half as creative. Or half as fascinating to read – with so many voices, and so many lovely characters, and so much philosophy. Everywhere. Philosophy. Absolutely brilliant, and totally moving.

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