An Extraordinary Theory of Objects

8:59 AM

Since I learned to read, I have always been a voracious reader.  I majored in English literature in college and graduate school.  I'm one of those people who can be reading multiple books at one time which seems to drive the people in my house crazy, but I can't figure out why.  So you would think that I would always have an easy answer for, "Have you read any good books lately?" Whenever someone asks me that question, it really throws me, and it wasn't until recently that I figured out why.  Liking a book is a really personal thing for me and, I think, for others as well.  Just because I like something doesn't mean you will like it.  Also, you might be really into non-fiction; I personally prefer fiction.  You might like to read about American or European history like my husband; I don't.  A book has to really knock my socks off for me to want to talk about it.

I was utterly surprised to like An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava as much as I did. I initially picked it up because I'm preparing for a trip to France later this year, and I'm more drawn to stories with the country as a setting.  This book was especially appealing because it's written by an American woman who spent her teen years living in France, and even though it's non-fiction, I was curious.  Not knowing really anymore about the book than this, I dove in.

Although the story is heart-wrenching at times, it's one of the most personal and touching memoirs I've ever read.  To me, memoirs are usual full of bragging and excuses; not so here.  LaCava is brutally honest about her struggles, and she blames no one in the process.

LaCava is drawn to unusual objects and collects them as a means of coping.  Far from being a hoarder, her collection is carefully curated.  Just as she collects objects, she is able to lay out this memoir around this objects explaining the entomology of objects prior to every episode within the book.  It's a unique and fitting tie from her life to her memoir.

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