05 March 2011
Post 343: Reading Jackie
I think this book appealed to me so much because the chances of me leaving a (widely read) memoir or record of my life are pretty slim. On the other hand, I do have copious notes on the books that I've read over the past seven years now. Some of those are even interspersed with journal entries to actually give context to what I was reading and why I may have copied down certain passages, but the fact remains: you can only conjecture at what my readings meant to me at the time I read them (outside of my blog anyway). I think the same thing applies for this book, Kuhn certainly makes some interesting and probably even accurate inferences based on Jackie Onassis's publishing list, but I would be surprised if they were all right.
People say they can tell a lot about a person based on what books they read and/or have in their library. That may only be true for people who form attachments to physical objects and have the space and inclination to fill one. If you looked at the books I have waiting to be read in my bedroom right now you would (wrongly) think that I love 20 year old murder mysteries, plus the year-or-two-old publications I picked up from ALA 2010. However, if you look at my Goodreads list you might get a better accounting of my actual reading tastes. Tie that in with my blog and you actually do have a fairly intimate portrait of my reading, what it means to me, and how it connects to my life, and even then I am selective about what I choose to write about.
I am not always forthcoming about exactly what I think because a public forum is not always the best place to hash out ideas or follow certain tangents. Sometimes that needs to happen in private, sometimes I need to sit quietly with the thoughts a book brought to me and pick through them. Other times I want to share them with you and hope that you share your thoughts as well. I still strongly believe that reading is primarily a personal and intimate pursuit, but I also believe reading has the opportunity to connect us to each other by opening channels for discussion on difficult topics. It is much easier to talk about the pain of a character than our own pain, even if it's what we're really talking about.
I found a couple of great reviews; the first one by Jaylia at Goodreads, another by a blogger at Beth Fish Reads, and then my favorite professional source Kirkus Reviews.
LibsNote: Library copy from Overdrive Media.