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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 13/100: Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup

— feeling confused
Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir - Kate Braestrup

If this was classified as a book of essays rather than a memoir, I might have enjoyed it more.

As a memoir, it just felt so all-over-the-place. Braestrup is a good writer, but there was no clear through-line, and there did not seem to be much of any organizing principles guiding when and how she told her stories -- it was just a jumble of experiences and thoughts related to the subject of marriage -- sometimes very tangentially. I listened to the audio version, and I'd often find myself in the middle of a new scene wondering how the heck we got there, or how it was supposed to relate to what came before, or what it was doing in the book at all.

While I enjoyed a lot of the stories individually, as a whole it was just too ADD for me. I had no trouble believing after reading this that this woman frequently lets kettles melt on the stove because she forgets about them or allows the bathtub to runneth over -- that same sense of distraction was applied to the way this book was put together. Maybe if I had read this rather than listened to it I would have had an easier time; as it was, I kept being like, "Wait, what are we talking about now?"

I liked Braestrup's "take" on spirituality so I might still be open to reading something else by her in the future -- but my brain needs a little recovery time first.