Reading books for leisure is an activity I try to make frequent during the year. Like many, the more engaged I am by the work, the faster I’ll push myself to reach the end, and feel accomplished once I do. Unfortunately, I’m not the quickest of readers. Thinking about how long it may take to finish makes me feel as if I don’t have time to re-read books, no matter how good I thought they were.
Looking at my shelf of books read, if I were to choose one now, it would be Miranda July‘s No One Belongs Here More Than You. I purchased the book on a whim two years after it came out. After recognizing the name from Me and You and Everyone We Know. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her writing, but once I started reading. I was smitten. Many criticisms accuse her of trying too hard to be “quirky” or “kooky.” I view her as far from traditional or typical. A characteristic that drew me to her to begin with. I didn’t have the impression she was going out of her way or otherwise trying too hard. Her style felt natural, open, honest. Aspects of her characters or the situations she placed them in resonated with various parts of me. Thoughts her characters expressed, might make people feel vulnerable for having them or ashamed to admit. I like that she encourages us to examine ourselves and the relationships we have. My reading of these stories coincided with a puzzling transitional period in my life. The timing might have made me more receptive to the content, but I doubt it affected the experience by much. It would be interesting to see how I feel about No One Belongs Here More Than You now. I haven’t followed her work as closely as I would like, so perhaps revisiting will put me back on track to exploring more.