The Goldfinch & Other Tartt Art

Today is two fun things.

1. It’s Friday!

2. The Goldfinch movie, based upon Donna Tartt’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book by the same name, is released in theaters.

Most of you, I’m sure are familiar with Donna Tartt, or at least with her books.

Her three fiction novels are The Secret History, The Little Friend, and The Goldfinch. All are lengthy novels, each coming in at over 500 pages, and The Goldfinch coming in at over 700 pages.

Tartt’s novels are each unique, I would in fact say their length would be the only thing they have in common. There are several authors, in my opinion that seem to have a formula for writing books. Their books have very similar plots or storylines and occasionally their characters have similar qualities. This obviously works for them-yes, Nicholas Sparks I’m talking about you and your books that mostly all take place in North Carolina, someone named Cody (or other name in the same vein), and someone finding or losing a letter.

Anyway.

All that being said, because Tartt’s books really stand apart, most people have a definite favorite. I like and have read all three, but hands down, my favorite is The Goldfinch. Do you have a favorite? One thing I have often heard about her books are that they could be cut down a bit in length— what do you think? Although I liked it, The Secret History is my least favorite and I do feel it was a little wordy. But it’s a great book—I promise, you should read it, as well as her other two if you haven’t.

I’m somehow rarely get the chance to see movies, but I do hope to see The Goldfinch at some point.

Fun Fact:

Donna Tartt and author Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho and other books) became friends in college when they both attended Bennington College in Vermont. Also there is a ten year gap between each of her books, technically eleven between The Little Friend and The Goldfinch. Maybe thats how long it takes to write that many words? Just a thought 💭

I hope all of you bookworms have a wonderful Friday and perhaps some of you are going to see The Goldfinch? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sincerely,

tmc

To understand the world at all, sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole;

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

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Body Like A (Mysterious) Back Road

• Thank you #RandomHouse #partner for this copy of Diagnosis by Lisa Sanders •

I really want to start this book.

And I would start this book, if I wasn’t already reading five books. Pure ridiculousness is what reading five books at one time is. I’ve posted before about how frustrated I get with myself over this multiple-book reading habit, so I won’t go on and on about it.

After a certain point in life, and it’s different for everyone, you just begin to except things about yourself a little easier. Just because I get frustrated with myself, doesn’t mean I’m going to change that quality. I’ve excepted that it’s always going to happen, time and time again. So there is no use trying to change it, plus the frustration only lasts until I immerse myself into one of my many reads. The only caveat is choosing which book to read at any given time.

Diagnosis by Lisa Sanders, M.D., sounds fascinating. The book is a compilation of the New York Times Magazine Diagnosis column. Sanders was an advisor on the TV drama, House, M.D., which was based upon mystery or tricky medical conditions.

There are fifty-three cases, divided into eight parts. After flipping through the book (not reading it, because then I would be up to six books) it looks like each story is just 2-3 pages long, so it is probably a very fast read.

Currently, Diagnosis is a Netflix Original documentary series.

There are just seven episodes right now, it will be interesting to see how they match the book.

Everyone knows the book is just about always better, but Netflix seems to do a pretty decent job on their Originals.

I am tired and ready for bed, but I’ve got miles to read before I sleep 💤

Good-night, Bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.” – George R.R. Martin

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m 64?

• Thank you #RandomHouse #partner for this copy of Live a Little by Howard Jacobson •
☠️

Have you ever thought about what age you might live to be? Is there a natural assumption or idea within yourself that you’ll see seventy, eighty, or beyond?

What I think about growing older is all of the living you’ll be able to look back on. Hopefully the majority will be good memories and experiences sprinkled only slightly with bits of sadness or regret. Also the hindsight that accompanies age of what you’d tell your younger self to do or not do given that chance.

Age does somewhat define you and often limits you. When you are a child, there are things you can’t do till you reach a certain age. From seeing R-rated movies, being able to vote, drive, or drink alcohol. Then as you become older that age range limits you once again. You cannot join certain branches of the military after a particular age, some jobs have age-specific retirement, although you do start getting a senior citizen discount at some point-so there’s that. You could go see those R-rated movies you may have missed out on when you were a kid-but at a much cheaper price this time around.

Another area I find interesting about aging is when people have the chance to have a ‘second act’. A ‘second act’ is the idea of sort of reinventing yourself at an older age. Whether that’s through a new job or career, a hobby, or even a new relationship. It’s something that gives you and your life new meaning or purpose.

Think about it.

I don’t know how old you are or where you are in life-but what would you do if you had the chance of a ‘second act’? The whole idea of the ‘road not taken.’ Where would your road lead?

I just received Live a Little in the mail today, so I will give you the synopsis from Amazon:

• At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him ever since.

There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course •

Growing old can make you cynical. You’ve had the chance to live through a lot of change, a lot of bs, and been afflicted with the meeting of a lot of annoying people. But hopefully it’s also made you patient, wise, and kind. And if it hasn’t, well just be crotchety. But be crotchety with a sense of humor. Being able to laugh at yourself and at life will take you farther than you can possibly know.

Sincerely,

tmc

“My face carries all of my memories. Why would I erase them?”

-Diane Von Furstenberg

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

-Samuel Ullman

Q: What line is too long to wait in? A: None, if you’ve brought a book.

“For anyone who has ever waited for the call that didn’t come…”

That is the opening line from the cover flap of Ghosted by Rosie Walsh. Not knowing a single detail of what this book is about, that phrase can apply to many things. Is it a call that would let you know you got the job? Is it the call that someone arrived safely home? Is it a call to follow up a successful first date? It could even be the call from someone you talk with daily, that suddenly just stops. Whatever kind of call it is-that doesn’t happen, they all lead to the same thing. The seemingly endless waiting and wondering. It’s this part that is truly agonizing, where minutes take on the feeling of hours and days.

I first came across Ghosted and the beautiful cover immediately caught my eye. I later found it on the sale shelves at the library and snatched it up for a dollar. It stayed in my tote bag for a bit because I forgot about it. Eventually it crossed my mind and I went and pulled it out, and dang, that cover! It’s just so pretty, or maybe I’m easily impressed? Either way it moved up a few notches on my short list of tbrs. That shows you, my dear reader, books do get judged by their cover. Below is the synopsis from Amazon, because I’ve yet to read it:

Oh wait, there’s a cover blurb about this book from Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, “I absolutely didn’t want it to end.”

Synopsis:

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other, the truth.

I think this sounds like a fun, fast read. Unlike real life, when the waiting game seems to go on forever, which is never fun. What do you do in those cases? What’s the right answer, what’s the right amount of time to wait for a response and in some instances, do you truly want to know the answer? That old saying, “ignorance is bliss” can often be the salve that soothes when the truth might sting. I don’t know, really I don’t. It’s hard to judge and really not fair to either, each situation is different. So if you find yourself in the midst of waiting for something or someone, make sure you’ve brought a book with you-and make sure it’s a good, long one.

Happy evening, bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait in line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.”

– David Levithan

Fleishman

• Thank you to #Randomhouse for this copy of Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner . #partner •

This book arrived on my porch last week. One day during lunch I flipped to the first page to see what the writing style was like and I was instantly sucked in. I was right in the middle of reading and loving Unsaid (see previous post), but it was obvious I was quickly coming back to this one.

I read somewhere, maybe one of the inside book blurbs, that it is in a similar vein to Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, which is a fantastic book. Immediately I put Fleishman into a category in my head titled something like: It’s Probably Good and Worth Reading. Catchy and not wordy at all- but it’s only in my head, so that’s all that matters. Anyway.  Brodesser-Akner’s writing is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s as though I cannot read it fast enough. She writes and captures subjects like we all speak. Even when she is talking about the (in my opinion) crazy, awful, often crude world of online dating, she zips through it with the ease of a true professional.

I haven’t finished it yet, but I have no doubt this is going to get either four or five stars. I’ve talked nothing about the story and I guess that’s because I’ve assumed you all have read Semple’s book. The Fleishman gist is this: a couple divorces after fifteen years of marriage. They have two children and have just begun to navigate the sharing custody waters when the wife disappears a-la-Bernadette-style. This story has subtle differences, I just mention Bernadette as a positive influence. I’m going to leave it at that. Just go and get this book-it’ll raise your eyebrows, tug at your heart, and have you laughing out loud. A perfect trifecta if you ask me.

 

Reading is departure and arrival.

—Terri Guillemets