Have you heard about the Green Books Campaign? If not look around because 200 bloggers are simultaneously posting reviews today of 200 books printed on environmentally-friendly paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using greener methods, Eco-Libris aims to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases.
I had the pleasure of reading Crisp by R.W. Gray which is printed by NeWest Press. The book is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. As a bookbinder you know I love paper so I was curious to see how the book would “look” like and it’s very nice. The paper seems a bit more “creamy” in tone than some other books by other publishers I’ve just pulled off my shelf but nothing that would be distracting at all. The pages are smooth and the type stands out just as strong so it looks just like you’d expect a new book to look like. Now to the book.
“It’s late, well past midnight, and she is now standing at the living room window looking out at the city lights, the strange Christmas tree effect of other people’s lives flickering just out there.”
Sarah’s story opens with her being rescued by a lifeguard at a pool. She somehow forgot to breathe. Ever since she and Peter broke up her life has become a sort of contemplation. She listens to her friends discuss what she did wrong, or what Peter did wrong and what she should do. Everyone has an opnion but Sarah just watches those close to her and other people she sees and wonders about the little things.
Perhaps by keeping her distance she can keep at bay the grief that can so easily consume her. Now Peter has been asking to return to her life and she doesn’t know what to do.
Just like this story the others that make up this collection are capturing the moments in characters’ lives when they reflect on relationships past and present. There is a touch of melancholy that seeps into some of these stories but there is one in particular that made me think of a sort of magical realism.
In “Crisp” there is an exploding car, a fire that doesn’t burn out for days and a mother that keeps getting larger and larger each day.This was perhaps my favorite story because it was sad and unexpected.
While some of the stories were hard for me personally to get into as they were quite short and I tend to just prefer longer narratives, I still enjoyed this collection.