tiny library: dept. of speculation

May 14, 2015

tiny library: dept. of speculation | reading my tea leavesDept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Five words: Endearing. Heartbreaking. Raw. Poignant. Human.

Plus a few more: This came recommended by a few of you here and it was so good. Heartbreakingly good. Sharp-intakes-of-breath good. Though I’m actually pretty sure that I read the entire second half of the book with my breath held. Offill’s stacatto sentences lept along in a way that made me feel like my heart could hardly keep up. I read it in one sitting and was honestly relieved when it was over even though I enjoyed it immensely. Baby, marriage, career, navigating the grocery store; it’s all in there, wrapped up like a heartbreaking poem that sometimes makes you laugh but definitely puts a lump in your throat.

Here’s a tiny taste: “She does not say, Last night, I pulled his hair. Last night I tried to pull his hair out of his head. 

It is so easy now for the wife to be patient and kind to the daughter. She will never love anyone or anything more. Never. It is official. 

She remembers the first night she knew she loved him, the way the fear came rushing in. She laid her head on his chest and listened to his heart. One day this too will stop, she thought. The no, no, no, of it.”

For bookshelf or borrowing?: I borrowed this copy from the library, but this book would definitely be worth keeping on your shelf.

Your turn: What are you guys reading?

More tiny library reviews, HERE.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Suzy May 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I'm about midway through The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison, and I'm just in awe that someone can be so crazy smart while still seeming approachable, like you could have a real conversation with her and not be constantly "catching up" (if that makes sense).

  • Reply Alie May 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Love this series and love that you read this! Also really enjoyed Some Luck by Jane Smiley this year—each chapter is another year in a family's life. It's quiet and really poignant.

    • Reply Sophia May 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      I'm dying to try out some of Jane Smiley's books! I hear Private Life (Smiley) is really good too…

  • Reply amanda e May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I can't wait to read this. Thanks for posting, Erin.

  • Reply Charly May 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I really loved this book. It was so beautiful.
    I also love this series! Keep 'em coming 🙂

  • Reply Sally May 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I just finished The Empathy Exams as well and I highly recommend it! Also, I'm currently reading Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros and so far I'm in love.

  • Reply Laura May 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I just finished The Night Circus, and it was fantastic! The descriptions of the circus were so visceral and vivid that I felt like I was there.

    • Reply Anonymous August 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

      One more vote for The Night Circus!

  • Reply Stacy Rutherford May 14, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I had heard of this book before, but wasn't totally sold on it from others' descriptions. Your review makes me want to read it. I read so much nonfiction this fall/winter, that I'm craving fiction this spring/summer. On the list!

  • Reply Fey May 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Currently reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and loving it!

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I just finished The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King. Funny, tragic, wonderful all at once! Thomas King is a Canadian treasure, and I highly recommend his books.

  • Reply Emily May 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I'm a few pages into this book right now, too. I linked to your review on my blog today, you can see it here: http://www.emilybekind.com/news/2015/5/15/friday-may-15th . As for what to read next…
    Did you read Women in Clothes, edited by Leanne Shapton, Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits? It's big but more anthological, you don't have to do it all at once. Or, I really loved Leanne Shapton's Swimming Studies.

  • Reply Taylor DuVall May 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I've already added this to my list!! Thanks!

  • Reply Niamh Roisin May 16, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Loved this book Erin! Also just finished reading Lila by Marilyn Robinson (why has she not yet won the Nobel, BTW?) and it is incredible. Also just finished Nora Webster by writer Colm Toibin (you might have read Brookyln about a young Irish girl moving there) – Nora Webster is incredible. He makes you feel such incredible empathy with the main character

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