Shelby writing today. I recently finished two great books that reminded me of the power of discovery of one’s self through reading. The most recent book, A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki, was recommended by a friend. I did not even look up the review or the synopsis before buying it (that shows how much I trust this woman’s taste in literature). I was happy to discover it is one of my favorite kinds of novels – where two separate stories with different characters in different time periods intertwine. I also love that much of the book takes place in Japan, and the writer provides insight into modern Japanese culture that brings me back to Shannon’s insights from The Tomato Tree. This book is extremely emotional – do not pick up if you are looking for a light read. I would often think about the passages I read the night before during odd parts of my day and would try to figure out why certain parts of the story affected me more than others. I rarely make notes in my Kindle, but I marked a quote from Marcel Proust that begins one of the chapters of the book:
In reality, every reader, while he is reading, is the reader of his own self. The writer’s work is merely a kind of special instrument, which he offers to the reader to permit him to discern what, without the book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. The reader’s recognition in his own self of what the book says is the proof of its truth. -Marcel Prous, Le temps retrouve
I marked this quote from Marcel Proust because it also applied to the second book I read recently that I loved – Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I connected with the protagonist of this book immediately. There were many passages that discuss race and identity and relationships in exactly the way I feel and understand it, but would not be able to articulate as thoughtfully. I brought my Kindle with me everywhere I went when I was reading this book because any time I had an extra few seconds (standing in line at the store, or waiting for Zach to meet up somewhere) I would pull it out and check in with Ifemelu.
Zach and I are going on a (quick) getaway for a close friend’s wedding and I need a good book to read – please give me your suggestions!