“In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York was in heavy boots.”
While looking through my bookshelf for books with great beginnings to show my students, I came across Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I flipped through, rereading all of my highlights and underlines, and remembered just how much I loved this book. I’m not a fan of reading books over again, but I can see myself reading this one a second time. The book is told from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy named Oskar Shell, who lost his dad on September 11th, 2001. He sets out on a “reconnaissance expedition” (as he calls it) that he believes his dad set up for him before he died. On his journey to find his father’s hidden message, he encounters different people and learns that everyone, including himself, is fighting their own battle. Oskar’s voice is wonderful and different. Though it’s never made known, it’s hinted at in both the book and movie that he has some form of Asperger’s or high functioning autism. This gives the book a unique look at the events of 9/11, told through the eyes of a boy with a wonderful imagination and a big heart.
1. Real Simple Magazine. Every time I would pick up this magazine at the doctor’s office or a friend’s house, I couldn’t put it down. So, I finally gave in and subscribed myself. This is the only magazine I read cover to cover (even the editors note!). Real Simple Magazine has everything- organization, decorating, beauty tips, and life lessons to name a few. (Psst…Thinking about subscribing? Go to RealSimpleOffer.com for a $10 Container Store gift card with your purchase!)
2. Gayle Forman, Author.After seeing the trailer for “If I Stay” months ago, I knew I needed to read the book before the movie came out, and I’m so glad I did. Reading “If I Stay”, led me to read several more of Gayle Forman’s books (I particularly loved “Just One Year”). She is an amazing author and I can’t wait to read more from her. Check out her website for interesting tidbits about her and her books, like how Adam from “If I Stay” was inspired by her husband(how cute!!).
3. This video. The ultimate throwback – music videos. Definitely worth the 14 minutes!
I just finished reading “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Ann Fowler and I absolutely loved it. I was drawn to this book after reading about Ernest Hemingway’s wife in “A Paris Wife” by Paula Mclain. The book completely immersed me in a different decade, and I love the idea of all the great thinkers and authors hanging out together over drinks – it’s very intriguing.
Zelda and Scott’s romance is both passionate and tragic, which the author did a good job of also making relatable despite its intensity. The book not only delves into the relationship of Scott and Zelda but also the decade that they were in: a time when women were beginning to dabble with becoming more independent and writing was becoming an accepted profession.
Whether or not you are a fan of Fitzgerald’s work, this book is just as likeable. I found frequently myself bookmarking beautifully written passages and falling in love with Zelda and Scott.