Just Read: Aquarium

Aquarium, coverRendered with a tenderness I didn’t know written language could have, this has got to be the most poetic novel I’ve ever read.

I feel like there’s a particular quietness that imbues the narration, even when it gets very intense, even frantic. That tone really pulled me into the protagonist’s world and mind.

It also makes transformation each of the main characters undergoes particularly striking.

Currently Reading: Schroder by Amity Gaige

I looked at her, trying not to look as sad as I felt. “I love you, you know.”

Schroder, coverIn need of a new novel for quiet evenings, I decided to give Schroder a read after listening to this NPR interview with the author. So far it is engrossingly excellent. The language has a unique fluidity to it and aptly captures the giddiness parents and children can sometimes can sometimes have around each other, that exuberant manifestation of the love that bonds them. There is also a keen tenderness that pervades the narration; at the book’s outset, the narrator and consequently you know where things have ended up, and as things unfold on the journey the narrator and his daughter undertake, there is a sense of precariousness.

Just read: Heft by Liz Moore

photoFantastic ending. Leaves me in a sort of contented expectancy.

Following yet another NPR recommendation, I got a copy of Heft by Liz Moore and was quickly drawn in by the flow of the prose and the characters it revealed. The sentences have a deliberate and adept succinctness that confers upon the events in Heft a measure of realism and upon the thoughts of the characters a quintessential tenderness. With this language, the first-person narratives excellently convey a sense of the convergences and divergences people’s lives can take on, and how tenuous relationships can be while the circumstances and emotions (like loneliness and sorrow) have at times an unrelenting grip.

Here’s a little bit from the beginning of the book…

She said noting in class. She gazed at me steadily from halfway down out seminar table, blinking occasionally through her large glasses, observing her classmates respectfully. Only once during the entire semester did she ever speak, and it was to volunteer an answer that was incorrect. I didn’t have the heart to correct her myself, so I turned to the class and allowed them to, and after that she returned to her silence. But she came to visit me in my office several times… p. 23 Continue reading