Good Reads : Betty Smith + Amy Kruse Rosenthal


At the end of last month, I found myself pulled in so many different directions and hardly knew which way was up. After December 23, 2009, however, JD asked me to check out and just relax. In light of this, I picked up a few books and found solace in each paragraph and chapter. I randomly collected a pile and devoured each book like it was my last. And then I found my mind back to a simple and happy place.

Here’s a few books I read in the past three or four weeks, but I just want to highlight two of my favorites…books that made me smile, but for two different reasons.

After a Christmas Eve celebration with JD’s family, we arrived home at 1:30am. As we prepared for bed, I saw A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith nearby and I promised myself I’d read just one chapter. I just started the book a couple days earlier, but already I was in love. With the story, with the prose, with the changing voice of the narrator. Everything. At 5am in the morning, I found myself laying on the cool tiles in our bathroom with the door closed. I didn’t want to wake JD with the light, so I crept into the bathroom to finish the book. As I turned the last page, my heart floated into Christmas oblivion and slid back into bed. JD, I whispered to his upturned left ear, Merry Christmas and I love you. And THAT is how good that book is. Makes you realize all you have and how beautiful life is.

Just started Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal a couple days ago and I have just a few pages left. Odd, funny, and heartwarming all at the same time. It’s basically an encyclopedia of Amy’s life, most of which is comprised of random thoughts and banal commentary. But it’s so funny. I’ve been reading it in public and I get embarrassed because I look stupid laughing to myself.

Of the other books I’ve read–all wonderful in their own right–these two books deserve a J* Shout Out because every so often a book makes you love harder and live louder, and these two books did just that. Thanks to my good friend Amy for recommending these books. I’m always on the hunt for good reads, so if you have one, holla back at your girl! 🙂