These are two of the books I’ve read this month. I recommend both.
Lamplighter is the first novel by 2012 Adam Prize winner, Kerry Donovan Brown. I adored this novel. Brown’s style manages to be both lyrical and realist at the same time, which means his writing has a luminous quality. The novel tells the coming-of-age story of Candle, a young man apprenticed to the last lamplighter in the small beach town of Porbeagle. The lamplighter is also his grandfather, and as the story unfolds, so do the family’s many secrets. The pace is slow, which allows the story and tension to build. Perfection.
This is the second time I’ve read Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by Dr David Schnarch, which at just over 400 pages is a commitment in itself. The first was during a difficult time when my now-husband and I spent 18 months apart. He read it too, and it certainly helped bring us back together. I’d become a bit vague on the content so thought I’d read it again. While the title suggests the book is about sex (which it is), it is also about how to achieve real intimacy through holding onto yourself while with another person. He calls it differentiation. Schnarch uses case studies, written as creative non-fiction, to take the reader into his therapy sessions. It’s an incredible, funny, and erotic book and I think everyone — married or not — should read it.