5 Books

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A memoir written as a letter to the mother. It’s beautifully written, though disjoint as times, as our thoughts often are.
I loved the sections of experiences with mom and grandmom, of finding love, of loss (twice), and of addiction. The short section of friends lost to drug addiction was simple yet moving. The prose sometimes, written as thoughts flow, often made comprehension hard. It was a bit hard to read, to stay interested in. Yet, there are many moments from the book, both beautiful and sad, which have stayed vividly in memory.


The book is slow to start. It is also hard comprehend initially—is a book length dialog with interspersed timelines and characters, and few names. Yet, by the time the key characters start getting drink, so did I start getting hooked on the slow, bubbling conversation.
The book is nothing special. It’s just two nearly 60yo men spending an evening drinking and talking, jumping back and forth over 30 years. Still, if there wasn’t a pandemic around, I’d inviting friends over for a catch-up in Dublin tomorrow.

The Friend

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Notes, quotes & links

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

My favourite Backman book of them all. Wish I could go and live with Elsa and her granny and the wurse in that land of almost awake