An Exact Replica…

December 23, 2012 at 5:01 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

exact140Title:An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Author: Elizabeth McCracken

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

Genre: Memoir/Autobiography

Length: 184 pages

I have never felt so awful as a human being as when I sat reading An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination knowing I’d be ‘reviewing’ it for a blog shortly after I finished.  How do you justify that in your mind? ‘Reviewing’ something so personal, so devastating, so beautiful, so intense.  As an avid reader, a constant reviewer, and one those people who presume to call themselves a writer though I’ve yet to have anything published, I felt like an inconsiderate intruder reading such an intimate account of a loss so great.  It’s rare to read something so personal.

As a mother, on the other hand, I wept.  I wept, and wept, and wept, for little Pudding.  I wept for Elizabeth.  I wept for a friend who lost a baby not long after I had my own.  I wept for all the things I may have said wrong, all the things I may have not said, and I wept for the selfish joy that my own sweet, precious child was snuggled next to me as I read.  I wept for Pudding, I wept for another friend who died, I wept for his mother because even though she had 29 years with him he was still her child, and I wept for the baby cemetery that I pass every time I visit his grave.

I’ve had a writer’s crush on Elizabeth McCracken for sometime.  I have an extremely vivid memory of reading A Giant’s House while having lunch with the same friend whose grave I now visit.  We devoured deli food, iced tea, and discussed the oddity of a romance between a librarian and child giant.  I remember telling him what a strange tale it was, but if I could ever manage to write anything half so interesting I would pee myself with happiness.  He promised to read it too, though I’m quite certain he never did because he was in the habit of reading the first thirty or so pages of something and then proclaiming himself an expert on a topic, starting novels and not finishing them, and making half-hearted promises… little things that I tend to hate in people, but for whatever reason found endearing in him.  I loved him dearly, and for that reason, I’ve never been quite certain whether my Elizabeth McCracken crush was because Elizabeth McCracken was all that amazing, or if it was because thinking of her always reminds me of him.  I cannot think of one without thinking of the other.

Reading An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, I’m now quite certain that Elizabeth McCracken is that amazing, and deserves adoration outside the realm of  Matty memories.  She’s a wonderful writer, a fascinating person, has a rockin’ last name, and by sharing this book with the world has proved to me (without ever having met her) that she has a very giving soul.

Elizabeth McCracken, thank you for sharing Pudding’s story.  And from the bottom of my heart: I am sorry for your loss.

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Quasi Crisis in Christie Crime Quest and Caterpillarism

May 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , )

Agatha Christie behind what looks like MY TBR pile.

I had a goal to read the entire Agatha Christie Crime Collection in 23 months.  I’m making it an even 24 now, because, well, I haven’t read any of her work this month.  I kind of lost my mojo, my steam, the wind in my Christie sails has gone still and stagnant.  I just got so wrapped up in Napoleon and Victor Hugo and a pile of other things that caught my attention this month.  My desire to complete the collection is not gone.  I cannot even say that I’m not in the mood to read her books as I’m in the middle of Murder in 3 Acts right now.  I just didn’t finish off my allotted 3 Christie’s for the month.  Its good to take a wee break every now and then though, it will make next month that much sweeter.

In addition to being distracted by Napoleon and getting very wrapped up in my Les Miserables readalong with Kate’s Library, I am now the day time nanny to 3 month old Felicity.  As of day two, I can say that having this second little person with me during the day has definitely changed the reading dynamic in the house.  My own toddler is half jealous of my averted attention and half in love with the idea of having a live baby doll to hold from time to time.  Needless to say, reading Christie aloud to them both makes things a bit interesting as I pretty much inevitably run out of hands.  Would not mind being a caterpillar-like creature right now, so I can hold books, baby, toddler, make bottles, pet dogs, and still sweep my hair out of my face at the same time.  Caterpillar comes to mind with its many arms, as well as the fact that growing up I distinctly remember a summer reading program growing up whose ‘bookworm’ logo was no worm at all, but a caterpillar.  I, of course, being the precocious child that I was, informed all the adults in the room and was then hushed.

So now, I take a minute to update you on the reason for the lack of updates while Ayla buckles her baby doll (the fake baby doll, not the live human baby doll) into the car seat and plays mama, and Felicity kicks her little tiny feet around in the bouncer.  The feet blow my mind, even though Ayla was this small not too long ago, her feet never were.  My child has very long feet, this child has very teensy tiny preemie feet.

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