Books Magazine

Nowhere Near Almost There

By Akklemm @AnakaliaKlemm

Almost ThereTitle: Almost There

Author: Nuala O’Faolain

I love reading for holidays.  Around Christmas, I choose appropriately wintery titles.  For Valentines Day, even though I am not a fan of the holiday, I’ll read a short cheesy love story that I would probably otherwise not pick up.  Earth Day in April calls for all things naturey and Halloween is for spooky-ness.  So of course, once a year in March, I pick up whatever I have on hand that seems the most Irish.

This year’s choice was Nuala O’Faolain’s Almost There.  It was a crappy trade paperback I got for free that I remember picking up out of a recycle bin somewhere and thinking, I would read that for St. Patty’s sometime.  Memoirs are generally quick reads too, perfect for a weekend in March.  Even more perfect, I thought, because I just finished Sheridan Hay’s The Secret of Lost Things and in the thank you’s Hay thanks O’Faolain.  I like streaming my reading along these sorts of vague connections.  Reading Almost There would be the most awesome St.Patty’s 2013 book, I thought, everything just fell into place.

Except not.

I am 29 years old.  I may have not done as much as I would have wanted by my 29th year, but I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time either.  I have 15 years of experience as a Kung Fu instructor.  I was briefly in a crappy band, my singing years better spent in a high school choir. I have waited tables, been an emergency bartender for an evening, become a “bra expert” at a lingerie store, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management.  I am married, I have a child, I have worked in the book industry for six years (and have loved every minute of it) and done all kinds of book related jobs, and I am currently in the midst of publishing my first title.  In all that I have been blessed to have the opportunity to make time for my reading habits, and oh do I love to read.

I’m not bragging… there’s so much I have NOT done (like leave the country, ever!); but, in my 29 years, I’ve been busy.

I am desperately trying to get into Nuala O’Faolain’s memoir, but I can’t.  30 pages in, all we have established is that she is an older woman who feels like she has accomplished nothing.  She has no significant other, she writes a column but hasn’t done anything great in her opinion, and frankly… I just don’t get it.

Maybe I am not old enough.  Maybe I see my world in a glass half full sort of way and keep trying to figure out why being famous for an opinion column in Dublin is a bad thing.  Maybe I am sad that even though she delights in her dog, she is busier being sad about the way things ended with her ex.  30 pages or so in, I have decided that for this year, I am done.

I did, however, pick up one of her novels.  I think I’ll try that next and come back to the memoir later. I like her writing, but starting off with her Low Point has kept me in a foul mood.  I was all too happy to set it aside for M.G. King’s Fizz & Peppers and had no desire to pick it back up again.  If that’s not a sign to stop, I don’t know what is.

Have you read anything by Nuala O’Faolain? What were your favorites? Where do you recommend I begin?

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