Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reading Robert Goolrick

I had so much fun participating in the Book Blogger Hop last week, I couldn't resist returning this week, and the topic is one that has intrigued and surprised me. The question is a simple one: Who is your favorite new-to-you author this year.

As I was looking back over my reading in my sidebar, I was tempted to say Marilyn Johnson or Lucy Knisley, but I've gushed about them a good deal lately. The other contender that jumped from the list really did shock me: Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife.

If you've been reading here a while, you might remember that I had some issues with this book. However, despite my quibbles, it is by far one of the most memorable books I've read this year, and one of the most engrossing. It's hard for me to give a book a higher compliment than that when so many plots and characters are quickly forgotten.

I decided to do a bit of research on Robert Goolrick since I know very little, and while I didn't find a great deal of personal information, the one bit I did find, seems all the more powerful. Before writing A Reliable Wife, he published a memoir titled, The End of the World As We Know It: Scenes from a Life. In this essay, he explains how that book came to fruition. I hope I can entice you by saying that he asked a homeless many "What happened to you" and that question resulted in his own bit of soul searching. Thus, he started writing his life to make sense of it .

While I will always have issues with some parts of A Reliable Wife, I know I'll also remember it and hold onto the characters with all their flaws and intricacies. I admire Goolrick's reverence for normal people and everyday lives, and I do agree that everyday stories can be profound and often very touching and affecting. Worth writing about.

Who is your favorite new-to-you author this year?


  1. I really enjoy the hop when it poses questions like this, makes it more of a fun meme than just a hop.

  2. I've heard so many things about A Reliable Wife, and I have it coming my way -- I hope I like it!

  3. Audrey Niffenegger! Yes I know I'm probably the last person on the planet to read The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, but I adored them both.

  4. I've got the The Reliable Wife on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. I love that you did research on the author (something I always say I am going to do, and don't). I've always wanted to go up to people I find on the street like that and asked them what happened. There are so many untold stories out there.

  5. Isn't it funny how some books grow on you and others just kind of fade away? I need to get to The Reliable Wife soon.

  6. Hi Andi, I'm hopping. I'm already a loyal follower, so this visit is just the icing on the cake. A Reliable Wife has been creeping up and down my tbr pile. Now I am more intrigued, especially by the tantalizing story behind the story. I do like a book with staying power...

  7. i enjoyed reading ayelet waldman (red hook road) and am looking forward to her other books.

  8. Trisha, me too! It was fun looking into more of Goolrick's info, too. Glad I did, or I never would've found the essay.

    Coffee and a Book Chick, I hope you like it, too! It seems to be a bit polarizing, so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it.

    Jen! I'm glad to see that you liked them both. I adored The Time Traveler's Wife, but I haven't gotten around to Her Fearful Symmetry yet. I've heard a mixed bag of opinions about it.

    Kathleen, sadly I rarely do as much research on an author as I'd like. I'm glad I was prompted to do it this time!

    Kathy, and it usually surprises me which ones stick and which ones fade. I hope you get to this one, too!

    Bibliophiliac, thanks for popping in to comment! Go ahead and bump this one up on your stack because I want to know what you think of it!

    Nat, I've never read any of her stuff, so I need to check her out.


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