Books that leave you breathless

I don’t know how many of you are readers. My sense is a lot of people who blog are people who read. I’m not sure why, but I think if we feel the need to put our words to print, we also feel the need to read others’ words. I’m not sure.

I’ve just finished a book that left me breathless. That, or it was often I’d find myself holding my breath for longer than I should have while reading.

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life

I read A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s a long one, at 720 pages, and it took me slightly more than a month to read, which is long for me, but now that it’s over I feel a little sad. Much like I did when I finished The Goldfinch last year. I think when you read a book that long, it’s like committing to a relationship, and when the book ends, the relationship does, and for a second or two you think, ‘how can I possibly read another book again soon?’

I’m not going into detail about the book because I don’t have the energy, but I will include a quote that would be considered a spoiler if you are actually interested in this book.

Basically, it centres on four men and their friendship through the decades. It’s a book about a lot of heartache, some of the passages make you wince. It’s also about the depth of love, written in ways I hadn’t thought about before.

“That night, before bed, he goes first to Willem’s side of the closet, which he has still not emptied. Here are Willem’s shirts on their hangers, and his sweaters on their shelves, and his shoes lined up beneath. He takes down the shirt he needs, a burgundy plaid woven through with threads of yellow, which Willem used to wear around the house in the springtime, and shrugs it on over his head. But instead of putting his arms through its sleeves, he ties the sleeves in front of him, which makes the shirt look like a straitjacket, but which he can pretend – if he concentrates – are Willem’s arms in an embrace around him.”

It made me think about my husband, and imagined life without him, which I don’t want to do. I was even telling him about this paragraph and I started crying, for the second time.

It’s book like this that renew my love of reading. But now I will start a new book, and it’s sometimes hard to put my heart into it after you finish a book that sticks with you.

Have you ever experienced that with a book? What are you reading now? I always love recommendations! Talk to me about books in the comments below!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Irena Solic says:

    The last book that really touched me was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I must admit I didn’t expect to like it as much, but it somehow spoke to me in ways that can’t really be explained.

    Like

    1. I think I saw that movie!
      I feel like such a geek when I get passionate about books, then I get a comment like this, and I feel better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irena Solic says:

        Yes, there’s a movie and it was good, too 🙂

        Like

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