Book: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Recommended: yes

A few days before Christmas 2003, Joan Didion’s daughter became ill and went into a coma; several days later, her husband died. A few days later, she wrote these words:

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

After some months passed, she began writing The Year of Magical Thinking:

This is my attempt to make sense of the period that followed, weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.

And it’s a good book. It feels honest and real, but it’s not like a journal or an outpouring of emotions. It’s more like asking questions and trying to figure things out. It’s very intellectual for a book about someone who’s lost their husband and comes close to losing her child, but not in a boring way. I actually read it twice because I felt I had missed something the first time. I think I got it the second time.

Time is the school in which we learn.

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