We’ve begun to embrace a weekly Library day. It started at the behest of my bookworm children and has become one of my favorite parts of the week. One of our local libraries is just beautiful. Huge bright windows, low shelves that leave the space feeling open and sunny, and a ‘new release’ and ‘staff favorites’ section that blows book-stores out of the water. I’ve fallen (back) in love with reading and devoured about a book a week since our newfound Library Day Love.
A couple Mondays ago we walked in and the book I was on the hunt for was already checked out, so while my kiddos made (immense) piles on piles of young reader chapter books and toddler potty books, I perused the staff picks. 13 Ways of Looking At A Fat Girl jumped out at me. Obviously.
The book is set up in 13 connected, but not always chronological, vignettes that are mostly narrated by Lizzie. The prose is gutting, intense, and for someone who has battled weight and gone up and down, it felt pretty poignant and dead on for so many of my own hardest thoughts and battles. It also really called into sharp relief some of my own darker judgements.
The second half of the book was sharing about Lizzie’s life after she ‘lost the weight’. In the same honest and raw vignette style, these pieces were arguably even harder to read. They really accurately, to my small experience, navigated how hard and strange it is to live life in a different body than before, but maintain the same brain you’ve always had.
This book was strange, fast-paced, and different than any I’d read before. I found it really hard and uncomfortable to read, but in the same breath I couldn’t put it down. It’s short and easy to fly through, but you’ll be digesting it for a few days.
I think, depending on your experience, the book could feel really wildly offensive. But coming into it realizing that everyones’ experience in their own body is unique, and what she is writing includes the very personal, and the overlaps many people share. So while her experiences never mirrored my own, the thoughts felt often ripped from my own brain.
It was a big departure from my current stack of reads (mostly Pep Talk and Self-Help style) and just what my brain needed to keep me wanting to devour book after book.
I’m currently running an online book club on Facebook (here!) and we are reading You Are A Badass (you can check out my review of it here, and I’ll probably add an update to that when I finish it again, since a second read always brings totally different revelations) for the Month of April.
Any other books I should add to my Must Read list? I’m almost finished up with Year of Yes, and then am ready for a new one to add to my side-table cue. Share your favorites with me!