Friday Faves are an Internet fashion I’m particularly fond of, so this will be a regular feature for me. A few years ago I started a habit of beginning each journal entry (when I wrote in my journal, which was by no means every day) with something I loved and/or was grateful for, as an effort to pull myself out of or stave off bouts of depression. I haven’t touched my journal since my mother’s death, although I mean to resume the habit soon, but the habit of focusing on things I love, even the most trivial, has helped me work through the anxiety attacks I’ve been struggling with over the last year. Also, anyone who knows me knows my compulsion to rabbit on about any current enthusiasm I’m possessed by. Friday Faves posts will be a means of channeling that.
This week’s Friday Fave is the novel Uprooted, by Naomi Novik. This was one of the two best novels I read last year (I’ll discuss the other sometime soon). When I was a teenager I would be so enraptured by some books that I would start them over again as soon as I’d finished them. My last year as an undergraduate beat that out of me—having to get through the likes of Pamela, Joseph Andrews, The Latecomers, and all the attendant critical essays in the space of a week didn’t leave much time for re-reading anything. This novel brought that habit back to me; I read it straight through twice, and bought the audiobook (which was unfortunately a poor performance). I’ve re-read it again since. If you have any liking for fantasy at all, I can’t recommend this enough. It seems to have been marketed as a YA novel, which I can’t really understand; not that I wouldn’t recommend it to an older teen, but in no way did it strike me as a specifically teen-oriented book—it is just that the narrator is a girl in her late teens. (I would question giving it to anyone younger than maybe 16, but then I’m not in charge of anyone’s child, and knowing my own history it’s the sort of thing I was reading by 11 years old.)