I try to be a better person, and less negative, and then I come across something like this and just feel giddy (sorry, Britt!). I need some perspective in my life.
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#43 -- "The Gathering" by Anne Enright
I've got a really normal, stable, healthy family. It's a miracle that I'm as fucked up as I am; they're close, supportive, sane human beings. So perhaps because of that, reading about dysfunctional families is always kind of uncomfortable for me -- possibly because I'm thinking "there but for the grace of God," possibly because I'm afraid that deep down there's not much of a difference.
The Ski Bum gave this to me a while back, and I put it off for the right time, figuring (Man Booker winner, dysfunctional family) it would be heavy and quite a time commitment. Then I zipped through it in two nights and change. It fairly crackles with tense energy -- it's not a comfortable read but it's a riveting one. When I started it Sunday, I couldn't put it down until I was on the point of unconsciousness.
It's stark and it's sad, and it's not light-hearted in the least, but it's a great book. I may have to start going through the Man Booker winners. Looking at a list, I've read a few already, and there's a couple more waiting on the shelf.