“The Vexations” a novel by Caitlin Horrocks
Conrad doesn’t have the key.
I was looking for a story that I could lose myself in and this did the trick! I lost myself in the story, in anther time, in the settings, in the way she structured the novel, in her beautiful writing.
I actually didn’t realize that Erick Satie was a real composer and I am even more impressed by the depth and breadth of her research.
It’s a novel about family and the need to belong, about art and the need to create, it’s about living a life on your terms.
Highly entertaining and boldly original.
A sentence I love:
Both men grope for some music that can fill death’s mute wake, as if a life is anything other than noise.
“We Are the Luckiest-The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life” by Laura McKowen
On July 13, 2013, the night of my brother’s wedding, I left my four-year-old daughter alone in a hotel room overnight because I was blackout drunk.
So begins a story of addiction and the journey through it. She is brutally honest about what it is like for her. She doesn’t hide parts of it and yet I never felt she was beating herself up. She was finding clarity and within that clarity she found some grace.
I find it helpful to read these kind of memoirs as I continue my own journey of not drinking just to remind myself why and to remember that I am not alone.
A sentence the resonated:
Addiction was a learned behavior born of the natural, human impulse to soothe, to connect, to love, to feel good.
“Why we Can’t Sleep- Women’s New Midlife Crisis” by Ada Calhoun
One woman I know had everything she’d every wanted—a loving partner, two children, a career she cared about, even the freedom to make her own schedule—but she still couldn’t shake a feeling of profound despair.
So, I felt that same kind of profound despair as I read this book. Don’t get me wrong, it is well worth the read. It is thoroughly researched and I love how she shared real-woman stories as well as statistics.
It’s about Gen-X women. Now, I am just barley Gen-X. I was born in 1965, the first year of Gen-Xer’s but I could relate to almost everything she explored: that not-enougnness as we try to do everything, being the first latchkey generation, always looking outside of ourselves, the anxiety about money.
While I felt that despair she described, I also felt hope and power as I finished reading it.
I passage I could relate to hard:
Our problems are beyond the reach of “me-time.” The last thing we need at this stage of life is self-help. Everyone keeps telling us what to do, as if there’s a quick fix for the human condition. What we need at this stage isn’t more advice, but solace.