Friday, October 24, 2014

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

I often feel that the books I like the best are ones that I could never have expected.  They're not predictable, they're not typical of any particular genre.  They're just what I was in the mood to read at the moment I was reading, but I could never have said what I was in the mood for.

"We are All Completely Beside Ourselves" by Karen Joy Fowler is one of those novels. It's essentially the story of a family, and of the remarkably complicated and thoughtful narrator's attempts to understand how her unusual upbringing affected her. But this was no ordinary family, you learn along the way.  It's difficult to say more without spoiling the plot.  But I can say this:  Read it. It's amazing. Beautiful,  Thought-provoking.  Poignant.  Funny.

There's a reason this book has won all sorts of acclaim.  It's short-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, it's won a 2014 Pen/Faulkner award, and it's one of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2013.

I'm not kidding. Add this to your Must Read list.

One more thing:  I've read other books by Karen Joy Fowler, and I wasn't wowed by them. This one, however, I LOVED.


  1. wooHoo--my library has it, and I've put it on hold. I am the WORST fiction reader, ever. It's not that I don't enjoy fiction, but I am terrible at choosing good books. All that to say, I appreciate your book reviews very much!

  2. I really liked it, too, Diane. Very different sort of book, and extremely thought-provoking.