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Shadows Bright as Glass: Read-A-Thon Review

April 9, 2011

Just finished my 4th book and my 16th hour. It’s almost midnight. Dad has gone to bed. I have classical music playing softly in the background, because otherwise the house will get the spooky, lonely harrowing kind of quiet. Which I know, from inadvertent insomnia, is pretty much the worst thing ever. Tonight, is a bit of an indulgent carnival of insomnia. Heading to bed, Dad looked over the top of his glasses and said “I know I’m being a Dad if I say this– don’t stay up too late.” I will (probably) go to bed if it stops being fun. And if I catnap while reading and sprawling, that’s all right too.

I already knew the outlines of Jon Sarkin’s story from reading about The Accidental Artist in the Star-Ledger. In book form, it’s more detailed about Jon’s life, the impact that the before and after of his stroke and his art had on his family. Amy Ellis Nutt has also done an impressive amount of research into how the science of brain understanding and brain damage developed over time. And because she’s a terrific science writer, she explains it really well. Maybe I’m doing this book a disservice by reading it for the first time during the context of a book-gobbling marathon. But I also enjoyed the impressionistic way that let me read, enjoying the odd riffs of language in Sarkin’s evolving art-driven creative process. And Amy Nutt’s own riffs of language. It was a lovely read.

And it reminds me that I have Alice Flaherty’s book, The Midnight Disease, a book about the compulsion to write and write and write… I have, or had, a copy of that book somewhere. I think I did. It, too, was beautifully written. But it also spooked me. Shadows Bright as Glass did not scare me… though seeing what Kim, Jon’s wife, had to go through, and what his family went through in his evolution and recovery… heartbreaking in points. Jon’s younger children have no sense of what he was like before the stroke transformed him.

And I think about my own, caring, smart, and loving Dad, who is amused by the Read-a-Thon, and I think I am a very very fortunate girl.

I’m listening to classical music, to keep myself company, using the iTunes on Dad’s computer. I very much think of classical music as Dad-music. I can’t tell Bach apart from Beethoven but it makes nice background music.

More tea while I decide what to read next….

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