Book 7 was another book club book. Now I joined my book club because I have very particular taste in books that I tend not to stray from and it seemed like a good way to force myself into being social all while exploring books I otherwise wouldn’t have. Occasionally I am surprised by how much I end up enjoying something I’d normally pass by, sadly this was not one of those times. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is a book of “short stories”, each about a different person or point of time in small town of Crosby, Maine. In theory I really like the idea of this book, each chapter telling a small story of a just a fragment of time in the life of a person. Real life, regular people, all ever so slightly connected even if just because of the town, but something about this book just did nothing for me. In fact it actually frustrated me on numerous occasions. The sheer amount of adjectives and words I’d read on each page that were about nothing at all was mind numbing. I’d keep finding myself trying to skim through paragraphs to find some kind of information of importance. It felt like words for the sake of words, like if you needed to write a 600 word essay and did a final count only to realize you were only at 512. That added on to the fact that about halfway through I realized that not a single part of me really cared how the book ended, really made it painful to get through. I really wanted to like this book, especially because so many people do, but it left me feeling like there was something about it everyone else understood that I just simply didn’t.
This a book.
Shattered by Debra Puglisi Sharp is a memoir about how one person’s choices on a completely average day can forever change your life in an instant. The extreme damage done stretches further and deeper than you could ever imagine. One second your life is as it always has been and then it’s not. A stranger’s actions can destroy everything you held dear and for the rest of your life it will haunt you relentlessly. In April 1998, Debbie Puglisi was blitz attacked in her home, kidnapped, and brutally raped for 5 days. Her husband Nino was shot and killed instantly. The man responsible was a complete stranger, he picked them by complete chance. His crimes against them were horrific and are painstakingly described, as is the trial, but what makes this book so much more than a heartbreakingly sad and scary memoir is the attention payed to the complexities of human personalities and emotions. So. Well. Done.