March 5, 2014

on my bookshelf: ten things i've learnt about love

With my new year's resolution to do more, I've basically turned it into a read-more situation. Ten Things I've Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler is the sixth novel I've read this year (!) and it's completely blown me away. If I'm being entirely honest, I bought the book for its cover, but the writing is poetic and surprising, each line more poignant and insightful than the last. It's obvious that Sarah has a unique, artistic way of looking at the world, which comes through in the way she describes letters as colors and in the way she uses sharp, clever lists to open each chapter. I'm absolutely smitten with her work (and don't even get my started on its Britishness.) I'm altogether charmed.

I could go into the plot and all the smart nuances of the story, but for me, it's far more about the artistry of her writing and the feelings she evokes. One look at just about any of my blog posts and it's obvious that I'm attached to the idea of place, to the way we build and create our own versions of "home" in the spaces and people we care about. Sarah echoed the same sort of idea in her thoughtful description of her book, calling it "an investigation of how and where we are at home; a way of asking whether we can feel at home without a physical house and vice versa; and a consideration of the role of family and relationships in making (or not making) a home."  Beautiful, right?

Anyway. You know how sometimes you feel like there's a line in a song or a book or a movie that's written just for you? And that if you were able to meet that writer or that musician for a cup of coffee, surely you'd become the best of friends and talk about all the wonders and truths of the world? Well, there were about ten of those lines for me in this book, and one truly took me aback, so much so that I picked up the phone to call my mom and two friends who I knew would understand. See, I have a strange, quirky connection to finding patterns in letters and colors, and I've always been obsessed with everything gold. (In a particularly dramatic moment, I once told my best friend that I thought maybe souls were made out of golden sunlight. Don't ask.) In any case, here's the line...

Each letter has a color. I'm not sure if it's the same for you. I'm not sure if you will understand, but I don't think on that too much. Here, by the flood warning sign — a pale-blue sweet wrapper still sticky with sugar. The letter A is the color of glacier water. Here, by the windowless wooden building with its whirling top, a single gold hoop earring. L is gold.


Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados and the Bay said... [Reply to comment]

I just purchased a Kindle and this book is very first on my must read list. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Niken said... [Reply to comment]

isn't that great that your favorite colour is gold? (if i remember correctly) L is for gold.

Diana said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, I must get this book for myself! Thank you for sharing!

Laura Marie Meyers said... [Reply to comment]

@Niken It is! Obsessed with gold :)

Laura Marie Meyers said... [Reply to comment]

@Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados and the Bay Hope you like it!

Sam | ashore said... [Reply to comment]

woah woah woah woah WOAH. yes, that was written just for you.