Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Reading Ann Patchett

Excerpts frequently influence whether I should read books by authors I have never read before. That and a Twitter post is how I learnt more about award-winning American author Ann Patchett who writes both fiction and nonfiction.

I was drawn to her writing when I read about her latest book Tom Lake, which is described as a “Beautiful and moving novel about family, love and growing up” or in the words of The Guardian, “A truth that feels like life rather than literature.”

Those are the kind of books I have always enjoyed reading, and hope to write someday, now more so since my wife and I launched a website Pocketful of Happiness which stemmed from our desire to be happy (possibly, at all times) and spread a little joy among our readers. Books like these have a feel-good quality about them. 

Ann Patchett's writing has been variously described as warm, poetic, illuminating, rich, poignant, funny, powerful, compelling and stirring. This was evident from the many excerpts I read including this affecting passage from This is the Story of a Happy Marriage (2013):

“People seem able to love their dogs with an unabashed acceptance that they rarely demonstrate with family or friends. The dogs do not disappoint them, or if they do, the owners manage to forget about it quickly. I want to learn to love people like this, the way I love my dog, with pride and enthusiasm and a complete amnesia for faults. In short, to love others the way my dog loves me.”

It prompted me to buy the book along with These Precious Days: Essays (2021). Both are personal  and literary collections of essays and memoir.

I look forward to reading one of these books as soon as I finish Agatha Christie’s The Murder on the Links

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