Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion




Overview: Joan Didion is an accomplished writer, her talent for writing is obvious and makes this account very readable. This is a memoir of the year after her husband died.


What I loved: I took lots of notes while reading this book. I think Joan gets it right. She is not writing a self-help book, she does not attempt to make a big statement. She simply writes how it was and what she felt, and how she lived. I think it is realistic, and sadly I can relate to much of what she wrote. I kept thinking, "YES! That's exactly how it is." Because she is a writer, there are all kinds of great literary references. She copes with obstacles in her life by reading all she can about them. She researches and looks for answers, I love that. She has included just the right amount of quotes and information that you get a feel for what she is reading, without it distracting from her actual story. This book is sad, and honest, but she doesn't feel sorry for herself.

If I had read this two years ago, I think my response would be different, but I liked it so much I'm sure I would still have enjoyed it and recommended it.
Like I said, I took a lot of notes, but I'm not sure how to put them on. I think I'll have to update this later after I know what I think is good to share.

7 comments:

Amy said...

I have heard wonderful things about this book. I need to pick it up one of these days. Thanks for the recommendation!

Julie E. said...

I've also heard great things about this book, but I don't know if I want to read it. I HATE the thoughts of Erik dying and don't know if I could read a book about my worst nightmare. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to read it...

colby said...

i'm glad you liked this. i got nervous after recommending it-as a book it's a bit self-indulgent. but that's why i like it. it reminds me of my own circular thinking. like a movie with flashbacks inside a flashback. like how we used to talk on the corner of BDA when we first met-so on second thought, ofcourse you would like it!!

Kammy said...

Yes Colby. I loved her writing style, but also what she was writing. I'm reading Seymour now, in honor of Jensen. I love that we can always follow each others digressions with out apology, and Imiss those walking home from ASL days.

colby said...

that reminds me-i just started the way of a pilgrim, metioned in franny and zooey. have you read it??

Kammy said...

Nope, am I too old and set in my ways?
I have been thinking about brushing up on all the philosophers and stuff I used to know since Buddy name drops so much.

Kammy said...

Post Script:
A few of the letters on the cover are blue instead of black. I didn't think anything of this. Then my son said, "What does J-O-H-N spell?" That's when I realized that she had highlighted the letters to spell her husband's name who obviously the book is about. I'm pretty sure all my kids are going to be smarter than me by the time they are 10!!