I loved On Beauty.
I don’t why it took me so long to find and reserve it at the library.
It’s an intimidatingly thick book. Not that thick books intimidate me. But that my life right now doesn’t seem to have the room to squeeze in a thick book. So, I assumed this would be one that I shamefully returned without completely reading, or that I less shamefully spent several dollars in overdue fines to read in entirety.
But instead, I devoured it. I read just a few pages, and then found I couldn’t stop.
There’s this thing about books. Some of them have a really good story, and others have a really lovely use of words and phrases and metaphorical language, and still others have a really well presented message. Literature can be like art in that way. Sometimes, an artist creates a beautiful picture, other times there’s just an impressive use of technique and others, there’s a distinct and profound message.
The was one book that had all three. A story so good that I read much too quickly, but chock full of meaning, and all while artfully using literary device. So much so, that I’m considering re-reading to glean it all. In my hurried devouring, I found it to be very much a story about, yes, beauty. But in a very broad sense. Beauty in the expected ways- in the ways women change their appearance and base their understanding of identity on appearance. But also the beauty of art and aesthetics. And “beauty” in the sense of the appearance of things. In the sense of a person’s (un?)natural tendency to do things that they think they should do, rather than what they really actually want to do. That tendency can be tracked through each of the major characters in really interesting ways.
Save a touch of melodrama, here and there, (I can distinctly remember one part that made me roll my eyes and groan out loud) I loved this book. I really did. I enjoyed it in the shallowest of ways, and I loved it in the most over-analytical English nerd of ways. The interwoven plotlines! The raw, real conversations and emotions! The ranting it caused in my house! Very many things to like and discuss.
Have you read On Beauty? What were your thoughts? I just picked up This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking from the library yesterday, and I’m looking forward to hunkering down with it this afternoon. What are you reading now?
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