Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary

I just finished reading one of the most smartly written, witty, and enjoyable works of fiction. I'm not sure when I read a fictional story I enjoyed so much. The newly-released The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, the same author of Nick and Nora's Ultimate Playlist, winds through the alphabet weaving stories in way as to define the word being used. No chapters, just a word in bold followed by a story that illustrates the meaning of the word at a point in time in a relationship. If you're looking for a sappy love story, this is not for you, unless you enjoy dysfunction and messiness at its finest. A couple "definitions" I enjoyed are:

punctuate, v. The key to a successful relationship isn't just in the words, it's in the choice of punctuation. When you're in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inserted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations.

bolster, v. I am very careful whenever I know you're on the phone with your father. I know you'll come to me eventually, and we'll talk you through it. But I have to wait - you need your time. In the meantime, I'm careful what songs I play. I try to speak to you with my selections.

It's a quick read at 211 pages and I know I will want to revisit this book again.

Amazon recently interviewed David Levithan and asked him what inspired him to write The Lover's Dictionary. I not only loved his answer, but I would really like to be in his circle of friends for next year's Valentine's installment! Read the interview here.

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