Every one of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books is like being welcomed into a warm and comforting world of friends and family, a world where character and integrity are valued, where community is real. I can't get enough of these (and surely wish HBO would bring the series back)
Certainly it takes real courage these days to study something like "happiness"--it's as if we've outgrown the very idea of it, we've become so accustomed to doing without it. In many cases, it confirms what you've known all along (like no one says on their deathbed that they wish they'd spent more time in the office) but also makes an excellent case for the importance of happiness in our lives, and gives some very brave and practical advice for how to achieve more happiness in your life. Enjoyed it thoroughly.
I wanted to like this book, really I did. It was depressing to have David Sedaris project the most distasteful and cruel acts of humans onto animals, robbing each of them of their innate grace and integrity. The book is well written, clever, witty, imaginative, but not terribly funny, unless you really dislike the animal kingdom.
What an amazing act of writing--Jonathan Franzen creates characters that you can't stop reading about, even though none of them are very likable, and all of them are very human.
I enjoyed every moment, and, because I also remember nothing, have had the pleasure of enjoying in over and over like it was the first time. Funny, self-deprecating, and full of sharply drawn remembrances of her remarkable career, as well as the back stories that make it seem like you've just had the most delightful chat with an old friend.
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