What an eclectic mix this month!
I am so glad I read all three, but I don’t know if I’ll be reading them again in their entirety:
10. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’ Connor
He felt he knew now what time would be like without seasons and what heat would be like without light and what man would be like without salvation.
These stories were heartbreaking. What I love most about these quirky, weird, redemptive stories is that in almost every single one there was a hopeful character as well as a cruel cynic. As I looked back nearing one hundred years since some of them were written, I could see the racial “improvements” that have been made since that time. It was hard to read at points for that reason, but I’m glad I hunkered myself down and made myself read them all.
My favoite stories for both feels and exquisite writing were: The Geranium. A Stroke of Good Fortune. The River. Parker’s Back.
Would I recommend it to you: See Flannery by Brad Gooch.
11. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.
Maybe I’m building my own damn Chocolate Factory.
If you’ve ever read Yes Please by Amy Poehler, it’s like that. But better, in my opinion.
I loved this book, and I blitzed through it in a matter of days.
Shonda has such an amazing mind, and the most incredible sense of humor. I disagreed with most of her moral statements, but I knew I would. I loved getting to know her beyond Thursday nights (where all her shows air weekly these days). It was both inspiring and hilarious.
I laughed out loud countless times. Which, by the way, almost made up for all the tears she has provoked cruelly in me during these past 12 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
Would I recommend it to you: If you have ever watched Grey’s Anatomy, or any other of the wacky, stunning creations from Shonda, you must read this book. If not, I just don’t think any of it would be appreciated or make enough sense when it comes to the parallels between Shonda’s breakthroughs and her character’s.
12. Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch
As for biographies, there won’t be any biographies of me because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.
As I read this biography and read about how her contemporaries described her, I keep repeating just one word in my mind when it comes to Flannery: fascinating. Her works were so unusual, especially for a devout Catholic at the time. She was deeply invested in her faith, and extremely hard at work on her craft of writing until her last days of life. I loved being able to place her work in the context of her life (reading about her college years in Iowa were especially fun!), and to see the parallels of her experiences to what she wrote in her stories. It was also fascinating to read about all of her friendships throughout her life. Many friendships took places through letter writing, while others were invited over to the family farm to sit on the front porch and discuss theology. What I love most about Flannery is that she knew she was different, she was too quiet and stubborn for most people’s liking, she was well aware of the expectations set up for her by her friends and family, yet she wasn’t afraid to stand out and just do her thing as she felt called to do it. She died young from lupus at the age of 38. Biographies are so rich, and Brad Gooch did an impeccable job with this one.
Would I recommend it to you: Flannery is not for everyone. She’s weird, and everyone told her so when she was living. But she also was super talented, fearless, and had deep faith. This is what makes her words worth reading. If you ever do read her complete stories or any of her other fiction, though, please use Flannery by Brad Gooch as your companion along the way!
Did you read anything inspiring, hilarious, or quirky this month? Have you started any summer reading lists yet? I hope you’re carving out time in this crazy life to slow down and read. It’s worth it.