Local bookworm Tori Gellman weighs in with some books you should read when feeling alone, nostalgic or lost.
If you’re feeling alone, misunderstood or trapped:
“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” by Brynn Greenwood
Children should be allowed their time of innocence. But for young Wavy, she lost her ability to be naive the day she was born into a family of abuse and addiction. She finds solace and love, however, in the form of one of her father’s thug henchmen, Kellen. The relationship between Wavy and Kellen causes us to ask ourselves and each other some really challenging questions. Greenwood inspires us to wonder about the validity of age as a social construct, while also challenging the very definition of family. Wavy marks her place in this world by the alignment of the stars; their constellations provide an essential point of stability in her very inconsistent life. Equal parts heart wrenching and warming, Greenwood’s debut novel is a must-read.
If you’re feeling nostalgic or compassionate:
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
We’ve all met the stereotypical curmudgeonly old man. But few of us probably take the time to really think about what their lives have been like to lead to this point. Grumpy old Ove is forced to rediscover these moments in his life when a boisterous young multicultural family moves in next door. Backman paints us a beautiful and intricate romance and just as quickly rips it from our grasp. The unfolding of Ove’s young and lifelong romance allows us to look deep into our lives and the impactful relationships we have been fortunate enough to make, and inevitably had to lose.
If you’re feeling lost, lonely or invalid (which you’re not):
“Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book” by Jomny Sun
This graphic novel follows the voyage of a lonely alien sent by his breed to observe Earth and report back with his discoveries and findings. The story is laden with undertones of self-discovery, the struggles of life and perspectives and perceptions that are individualized to every unique person. Sun provides with a sweet and compelling adventure that reminds us to step back and appreciate all of life for what it is and to accept everyone for who they are.