A Little Life

A Little Life

littlelife

Just finished A Little Life and I’m not sure what to say about it. First, my face looked the the man on the cover’s face while reading most of this book.  It was HEAVY.  If you are a squeamish this book may not be for you, there were more than a few times where I would suck in my breath and start speed reading to get to the next page.  It was HEARTBREAKING.  So many times it looked like things were on the upswing and then Yanagihara would bluntly bring you back down which something that we just terrible.  But it was also BREATHTAKING.  I mean, I am not a person that usually reads 820 paged books, but I couldn’t put this one down.  There were times that I would read a sentence so striking that I would sit dumbly, staring out of a coffee shop window, thinking about what I just read.  I would definitely put this on a short list of my favorite books of all time, right up there with House of the Spirits and True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but I don’t know if I would ever read it again like I have with the others.  I mean, this book made me cry in a coffee shop!  I am not explaining this well, here is what it says on the jacket:

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever. 

I was drawn to it because I love a good epic story.  I love it when authors go deep into not only the characters’ lives but the lives of the people around them.  It’s one of the reasons why I love Allende so much!  This book is just so beautiful and sad and inspiring and depressing at the same time.  Ugh.  I don’t know what else to say, I just finished it yesterday so maybe I will write more when I am done processing but I just wanted to tell you to read it as soon as I had a copy to loan out!  Let me know if you want it!

Hot Books-Cosmopolitan Magazine

Hot Books-Cosmopolitan Magazine

Here’s what the Cosmo woman is reading:

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You Will Know Me looks good (Not at the library yet)!  Just in time for the summer Olympics!

Speaking of Cosmo, there a write up about Helen Gurley Brown that looks pretty juicy in Vanity Fair.  That’s on deck for some weekend reading!

Oh!  And have you listened to The Lit Up Show?  Great podcast from an editor at Cosmopolitan!   They talk about books, culture, politics and other classy things.  I see you Cosmo! Not just for 17 year old girls who know too much anymore, huh?

WKND: BKLYN

WKND: BKLYN

Here are some pictures of a recent weekend I spent with some of my very best friends in my old stomping grounds, Brooklyn, New York.  I had a big list of all of these New York City things I wanted to do, go to the MET and the main library, walk through Central Park, etc.  But for this trip, I loved hanging out with my best friend Mary, visiting friends and their adorable babies, and chatting over “Peruvian french fries” (that’s french fries with cut up hot dogs) with Morrell (I wish I had pictures of that one!)

Here are some pictures of my favorite spots:

 

  1. Sarah and Mary at The Meatball Shop.  Mary and I chilled at her place until “brunch” became a solid “lunch” and I wanted meatballs. Meatballs were the go-to hot food of 2011, which was the last time I lived in Williamsburg so I still thought it was cool and my friends humored me!   While Mary and I were waiting we spotted Law and Order goddess Kelli Giddish!  I didn’t have the courage to ask her what her problem was with Olivia in the last few episodes and she looked pretty hungry for meatballs so we left her alone. kelli
  2. Bowling at Gutter.  A perfect afternoon activity.  We had to wait awhile for a spot at one of their six alleys but we passed the time splitting a pitcher at a bar that looks like a place my grandpa would have loved in Buffalo.  Bowling is always fun, you never see people bummed out at a bowling alley.
    gutter
    img from explore bklyn

     

  3. Karaoke at Beats.  This was a new spot for us, usually we would trek to the Lower East Side or even Koreatown for a karaoke room.  So when Mary heard about a new spot in Brooklyn, we jumped at a chance to stay on our side of the East River.  Beats is very new, clean, and classy.  We had a lot of fun, I only have two complaints. One is that it is yet another spot that does not have Yes by LMFAO, whhhyyyy??  It’s their best song!  It also closed at midnight, we could have gone way later.  But maybe Beats was just doing us a favor, knowing that we had to get up for an early brunch!
  4. Brunch with Malaika and Deanna (and Mary!) at Sisters.  My first time at this place and I liked it a lot.  I tried out their savory french toast and I’m hooked!  Now you can have sweet and savory for brunch!  I took this lesson home and have been eating a waffle with a fried egg on top for breakfast.
  5. Did not have pictures of my walk with Sarah through Greenpoint with a stop at Ovenly but that was a highlight as well.  There is so much to see in Greenpoint, which was not totally the case when I lived there!

Such a great time in NYC, I’m sure I will come back soon!

DC: Bonus tracks

DC: Bonus tracks

Here are some more pictures and moments from the trip!

1 & 2: We had all of our dinners on Campbell Ave. in Arlington, VA. There is a row of great restaurants there.  We had some farm to table realness at Copperwood Tavern and some killer margaritas at Guapo’s.

3: Campbell Ave. was a great hang during the day too, we went to Peete’s Coffee and Tea in the morning to read each day.

4. The Capital building.  We didn’t go in, but we walked by and I took a quick picture. This one is nice because the trees are blocking the gross scaffolding.

5. The National Portrait Gallery sits right at the beginning of DC’s Chinatown, which is home to cool shops and a lot of great happy hour options!

6. The docents are the true heroes of DC.  Chuck was my guide at the Library of Congress.  And I say he was mine because we became BFFs once he found out I was an actual librarian!

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to our hotel, Best Western Pentagon.  It was cheap, cozy and clean, it had free wifi, parking, and breakfast. And it had Bravo, which is a must.  And the breakfast was a real breakfast too!  There was also a free shuttle that took us to and from the Metro. So if you go to DC, I recommend it!