For a few years now, I’ve wanted to resolve to write briefly about every book I read. I feel like it’s sort of pathetic to fail to resolve something, especially something fundamentally enjoyable, so I’m going to resolve it this year and see what happens.
First book of 2011: Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. I think I was born with this one pre-loaded in my head–every word and turn feels right and familiar. Every sentence is pared down to its own perfect skeleton. The South of Wise Blood isn’t the South where I grew up, and its headspace is in many respects very alien to me, but the characters’ faith-crises still resonate powerfully. The book maps a breed of Christianity that is very particular to its time and place, but O’Connor renders the landscape of belief with such brutal, unsentimental love that I think it would feel familiar to almost any reader.