Why This One?

Chestnut has mostly been reading in what I think of as a comforting way. You know: old American Girl books, Rotten Rhymes—books that have been happily read before. Lots if littler kid books.

Except this:


It was on our coffee table? Or bookshelf? Something. She came upon it and has been reading it ever since. And rereading it. And rereading it again.

Why? I have no idea. It's a pretty strange book, honestly. I mean, I guess there's a cover quote by Daniel Handler? Which makes it…children's literature adjacent?

It's not that I'm complaining. I'm just some cross between befuddled and interested. I remember various books that really compelled me from my parents' bookshelves, and not for any reason I can identify now. But I would read them over and over. And it wasn't all Diseases of the Skin, either (sheesh—everyone can understand why you'd want to read that over and over). It was…weird books. How to Be a Jewish Mother (for real, this is a book). Having a Baby Can Be a Scream, by Joan Rivers. While The Screwtape Letters, which I had very high hopes for (C.S. Lewis!), was a total dud.

Anyway, that's what we're reading around here. Happy inexplicable reading to you all!

6 thoughts on “Why This One?

  1. Ha! I also used to read How to be a Jewish Mother. I have no idea why we had this as we weren’t remotely Jewish, we didn’t even know anybody who was Jewish. There may not even have been a single Jewish person in our entire town, now that I think of it. But for some reason we owned that book and I read it over and over when I was about 10 or 11.


  2. I used to read a book about yoga by a maharishi — I remember, in particular, the section about swallowing some kind of tape that would collect all the gross things in your intestine and then you were supposed to pull it out.


  3. A tape worm? Or a diuretic?
    The two books I pulled from my mom’s bookshelf were “Dreaming in Cuban” & “Rebecca” most notable is that my mom let me read anything I wanted but dreaming in Cuban is the first book she said “wait until you’re older” to. I must have been 11 at the time.
    My best friend is a Jewish mother, us that book literally about childbearing or a memoir?
    I hated reading Screwtape Letters but then I saw it performed in Manhattan and now I love it.


  4. I used to LOOOOOVE reading Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. I was 11 and could tell you exactly how divorced parents ought to be referred to on their daughter’s wedding invitations.


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