Sunday night was spent sobbing through the last 40 pages of this book, with Sean asking me “What’s wrong!? What’s wrong?” and me choking out “It’s just so SAD.”

It is. And beautiful and heart exploding and wondrous and perfect. Lauren Groff might just be my favorite writer these days. There’s an essay written by a minor character in the end that touches on so many things I’ve been thinking about lately. You know how a good book can almost feel like it was written to show you all the stuff in life you’re supposed to be thinking about? This does that, and more.

Have you read anything life shattering lately? Please share.


  1. Black Swan Green recently exploded my heart with its goodness. Also, although I’m not finished yet so I can’t say with certainty, The Sense of an Ending is both remarkably thoughtful and funny.

  2. Even though I’m a little nervous about crying through the end of a book, which I have been known to do, I really want to read this now.
    I am personally anxiously awaiting the release of The Wind Through the Keyhole as I am desperately obsessed with the whole Dark Tower series.

  3. oh yes. i love black swan green so much. going to look for this one today at my library.

    ones i’ve loved recently: the fault in our stars, why we broke up, habibi

    some relatively recently published all time faves: tamar (by mal peet), it’s kind of a funny story, time traveler’s wife

    i’ll be quiet now, cause i could list hundreds.


  4. Hi, first time commenter here, I like your site. I was just thinking that I want to read something written by a female, and (maybe) tear myself away from non-fiction. I am reading Debt by David Graeber and finding it pretty interesting so far.

  5. The Anne of Green Gables series reminded me how to imagine again. I had felt so bogged down by life, but Montgomery’s words are just so magical. I found myself being able to find the extraordinary in the mundane bits of life. Dog walking and lawn mowing changed from chores to something I looked forward to do.

  6. I thought of you a lot when I was reading Arcadia, and man – I had the same exact experience when I finished it, just sobbing my eyes out. Colin was so perplexed. I haven’t been moved by a book like that in forever. Lauren Groff blows me away. I remember seeing The Wolves of Templeton on your shelf, and being intrigued. I need to her to hurry up and write more books. You read Delicate Edible Birds too, yes? Man oh man.

    Black Swan Green is wonderful, as is everything else David Mitchell’s written! Will be grabbing titles from these comments – I always find great reading from your circle of readers! xoxo

  7. Thank you for the recommendation! I just found a signed copy of this book in a great bookstore in Boston and remembered your review, and bought it! A good friend of mine recommended the Monsters of Templeton to me a few years ago, and I loved it. I’m going to read this, and then mail it along to her when I’m done!

    After finding Arcadia I looked around the bookstore a bit more to see if I could find some books to recommend to you in the life-shattering category. I just re-read Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, which I loved, and highly recommend. I don’t know how to explain it to really do it justice, but I can tell you Skippy is not a dog (it kinds of sounds like it would be) but a boy in an Irish boarding school, who dies. I also re-read Handmaid’s Tale recently, which, yikes. That book gets me every time.

    1. I keep thinking about the Handmaid’s Tale, for obvious reasons. But I don’t think I can handle a re-read. I might up and move to Sweden or something.

  8. Oh, I think I need to read this book. I’m reading Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz, described by amazon as “a man’s attempt to bring order out of chaos in his psychological life”. Very interesting.

  9. Thank you for recommending this incredible book. I just finished it and wet my shirt through from tears. What a release. What a story! This one needs to be a miniseries.

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