Title: These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett
Book Beginnings quote:
Friday56 quote from the essay, "Three Fathers":
Patchett ponders truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart. A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.
From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark. (Publisher)
Review: I enjoy reading short stories and essays, especially during periods of life-interruptions. That makes essays perfect for audiobook listening on car trips. As my husband puts it, "if we don't finish the book, at least let's finish an essay before we get out of the car." As a Ann Patchett fan, I knew this would be a good choice for our most recent car trip and both my husband and I enjoyed all the essays very much. We were especially touched by the title essay, "These Precious Days" where Patchett explored “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.”
This was a perfect choice for the first book of the year. First, quite a few, but not all, of the essays were written during the pandemic. I don't know about you, but I crave reading materials or watching movies which incorporate information and views from the experiences we all lived through in 2020-21. I appreciated her stories of figuring our how to run a bookstore under lockdown, how to care for a sick friend who needs extra protections against the disease, and how to manage being stuck at home basically full time. As we listened, I was really struck by how lucky I am to like my husband and to enjoy spending time, lots of time, with him. We talked about how our experience being stuck here at home together during lockdown was fairly enjoyable. I know that is not the way a lot of people felt about being forced into isolation with others. I've wanted to read These Precious Days for almost two years now and I am so glad that I finally got to it. I highly recommend it, even to those of you who aren't sure you enjoy the form. Give it a try!
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