14 January 2013

The Books They Gave Me

I picked up The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Live, Love, and Lit pretty much sight unseen, very rare for me.  I didn't even read the cover copy (I thought it was a memoir about Jen Adams's reading life) - so imagine my surprise when I realized that the book consisted of stories other people submitted to the tumblr blog The Books They Gave Me.

That is rather more interesting than just one person's book-receiving stories.

There's a lot of variety in the submissions.  Some books were given by failed lovers, successful ones, future spouses, parnts and beloved grandparents.

Some submissions are almost heartbreaking in simplicity - those were the best ones.  Others seemed "over-arty" or over-edited, as if the submitters were trying to make a straightforward story more mysterious, but what happened is that they lost the ability to make sense.

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