May 18, 2010

Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid


I do not like those annoying, cloying Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but I've seen them and, unfortunately, even paged through a few.  Just one of the many trials a bookseller and librarian must face.  This book is the perfect antidote.

Lemony Snicket's new collection "contains a bouquet of alarming but inescapable truths" that are bittersweet wonderfulness (if, like me, you like that kind of thing).

The aphorisms are silly like Jack Handy's deepest thoughts and the writing is as wry and dark as anything by Dahl.  It's a perfect bitter brew for lovers of Mr. Snicket's unfortunate writings.

Although characterizing them as "silly" isn't entirely fair.  Most of them are dark in a light, fun, snarky way.  A few of them are just plain old solemn and sadly true.  Such as, "Grief, a type of sadness that most often occurs when you have lost someone you love, is a sneaky thing, because it can disappear for a long time, and then pop back up when you least expect it."  Or the even better, "The way sadness works is one of the strangest riddles in the world."

But there is plenty of comfort to be had as well, especially for the librarian in me.

"A good library will never be
too neat, or too dusty,
because somebody will
always be in it,
taking books off the shelves
and staying up late
reading them."

Or:

"Never trust anyone
who has not brought
a book with them."
Enjoy!