Your favorite book.
I happen to have a favorite book. I, along with the New York Times, just happen to find it “Ingenious” and “Vibrantly imagined.” While the Washington Post calls it, “Astonishing.”
I love reading anything I can get my hands on, books, magazines, subtitled movies, the backs of cereal boxes, menus, I really mean everything, so saying this is my favorite book really means a lot.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is my favorite book.
It is about a girl named Alma Singer and also a man named Leo Gursky. They do not meet serendipitously and have a wild romance and they do not solve a mystery or stop a crime. They do more than this. Alma and Leo show love. And heartbreak, lonliness and despair, but mainly love in it’s truest and most unique sense.
It begins and ends with a story of an obituary but in the middle, the chapters flip back and forth between the two (along with a couple more characters) telling a not so wild tale about a book, also titled A History of Love and the journey this book has taken from Nazi-occupied Germany to the hands of a charming little girl in present day New York.
While I was reading this I cried over and over, I didn’t need to wash my face before bed, the book did that. But I also thought. I love it when books make me think and want to reread things until I laugh and think to myself how clever the author is. And she is clever, there is no way around it, Krauss knows what she is doing when she spins this story, she knew the last sentence before she knew the first. And she also happens to be happily married to another one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Safran Foer, of Everything is Illuminated fame.
Oh yes, and the book is also being made into a movie, so I am not the only one so enchanted by it. Warner Brothers has picked it up and Alfonso Cuaron (A Little Princess, Pan’s Labyrinth, Great Expectations, and a Harry Potter) is set to direct it with a release date in 2011.
So pick it up and you won’t put it back down until you read the very last word.