First thing: I’m angry. For the last four years, I put together just a few book reviews and saved them on my computer (and I thought on my flash drive)–now I can’t find them. They probably got lost in the tragedy of my hard drive crashing last summer, but I just discovered these files’ nonexistence 20 minutes ago.
It’s not the end of the world–I somehow recovered all of my other files last summer. There is something saddening about losing my own written thoughts, though. I can’t, or actually I don’t want to, recreate those reviews. And even if I do decide to, my perspective will be coming from years of reflecting on or forgetting about the details of these books. I can’t go back to myself at the beginning of college and write in the exact same way with the exact same feelings. The documentation of my younger self through my reviews of Atonement by Ian McEwan, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and It by Stephen King, is gone, gone, gone! (Melodrama!)
But really, it feels shitty to lose writing. Any writing–I know in middle school, I saved the beginnings of stories on old computers–stories about talking woodland creatures that went to private schools and princesses running away from their castles to solve the mysterious recent homicides of blacksmiths in their kingdoms. The computers have since been thrown out or put somewhere in our attic. Unusable, unfindable.
How cool is it, though, that our writing can act as a time portal–not necessarily to another world, but to the way we thought and felt, the things we liked, imagined, feared–before today? I wish I could find these reviews because they documented an earlier version of me, a precursor to this moment, here. I just can’t recreate it all.
Also, I’m lazy.
Here are my short reviews of two books I recently read–reviews in one (or two) sentences. I grabbed this idea from my literary comrade Nick Sweeney (here I would put a link to his blog, but the site is down). Full versions to come soon!
Saturday by Ian McEwan:
McEwan shows readers the present way of our modern lives; complex and simple, exciting and boring, comforting and scary, pointless and full of meaning.
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell:
Captivating even by its title, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves brings together wonderfully original stories by young Russell–each taking place in worlds like ours, but where people shrug off the supernatural as, well, natural.
Thanks for reading!