So remember how in elementary school there were reading groups? And the teachers tried to give them value-neutral names? But how everybody knew that the Bluebird reading group was made up of the smart kids and the Starling reading group was made up of the average kids and the Sparrows were the dumb kids?
If you didn't know this, I apologize. And also if you didn't know this, please don't ask me about Santa Claus.
Anyway, I say this because at The King's English Bookshop, where I am fortunate to be working again, I am in the Sparrows reading group. In my other lives, I'm considered fairly well-read. But at work I am SO SURROUNDED by amazing readers who devour full buffets of books every day. It's amazing.
So I am playing catch-up right now, which means I just finished reading a new store favorite--Martin Marten by Brian Doyle. Basically, it's an unusual coming-of-age story about two beings who live on Mt. Hood in Washington--a boy named Dave and a marten named Martin.
Twenty pages into the book I liked it a lot without actually loving it. I wondered if maybe it weren't a little overwritten. But the more I read, the more I fell under its graceful and quirky charm, so that by the end of the book I was shedding tears of . . . I don't know. Life.
This is a special book. My friend Sally Larkin describes it best when she says it is a book full of kindness and grace. She's right.