Thursday, December 07, 2006

Literacy and Longing in L.A. (Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack)

As much as I tend to sneer at books with two authors, I was in love with this book by the end of the first paragraph. Dora (named by her mother for Eudora Welty) is 35, single and living in Los Angeles. She is not happy and treats her depressive episodes the way we all might like to: She runs a hot bath, shuts off her answering machine and starts reading. Sometimes for a few hours and sometimes her "benders" last for days. Dora is one of the most likable characters that I've come across in a long time--and she tells the secret truths about bibliophiles. She admits to buying books even though there is a stack still unread by her bed. She keeps books in her car trunk. She tells all the dirty little secrets of true booklovers. (I keep an emergency copy of "Sense and Sensibilty" in my glove compartment in case I find myself waiting somewhere with nothing to read.)
The novel follows as Dora confronts family and relationship issues--through literature mostly, and eventually comes out the other side a stronger person. Like any recovery tale, it has a heartwarming and hopeful end. Dora manages to learn to control her Bibliomania--one day at a time. Also includes an extensive reading list...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review of this book and Blind Submission. I immediately requested them from my library and look forward to reading them this weekend. I'll be sure to post my thoughts!