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Off the Stacks: ‘Blue Nights’ by Joan Didion

Off the Stacks: ‘Blue Nights’ by Joan Didion post image

Off the Stacks is a weekly-ish feature where I highlight a nonfiction book I’m excited about but may not get to read any time soon. I’m hoping that by highlighting titles this way, I can encourage other people to give the book a try, and, if it’s great, consider nominating it later this year for the Indie Lit Awards. Consider these books stamped with the “Sophisticated Dorkiness Seal of Curious Approval.”

blue nightsTitle: Blue Nights
Author: Joan Didion
Publisher: Knopf
Nonfiction Type: Memoir
Topics Covered: Loss of a child, aging

What It’s About: Following in the wake of Joan Didion’s first memoir of grief, The Year of Magical Thinking, Blue Nights is about the loss of her daughter, Quintana Roo, and Didion’s “thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.”

Why I Want to Read It: The Year of Magical Thinking is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful book, and I think it’s impossible to think about Blue Nights without being reminded of that piece. I mean, even the covers are designed the same way. I am a little nervous about possibly reading this one, nervous that the comparison to a previous book might be too much for it to hold up to, but I also don’t think this is a book I can skip reading.

Who Else Might Like It: People who love Joan Didion, possibly parents (although I’m not sure it’s possible to read books about losing children after you have one yourself?), everyone?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stephanie November 11, 2011, 8:40 am

    I still need to read The Year of Magical Thinking. I own it, so I have no excuse!

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:32 pm

      It’s an incredible, moving book. I think it was one of my top reads last year or the year before. I definitely suggest reading it.

  • Meg November 11, 2011, 11:05 am

    Sounds quite somber, though I know Didion has a reputation for lovely writing. I think this one would be too difficult for me to get through.

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:33 pm

      Yes, her writing is always just beautiful. I thought that The Year of Magical Thinking would be too difficult, but it was an oddly comforting sad book. I’m hoping this one has a similar tone.

  • Amused November 11, 2011, 11:55 am

    Oh my goodness this book sounds so sad but very good!

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:33 pm

      Yes, I agree!

  • Stephanie November 12, 2011, 6:37 pm

    I’m adding A Year of Magical Thinking to my TBR list. I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of Blue Nights.

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:34 pm

      That’s an amazing book. I hope you love it. I really do.

  • Vasilly November 13, 2011, 12:29 pm

    I still haven’t read The Year of Magical Thinking though I’m hoping to do so soon.

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:34 pm

      It’s awesome. Really sad, but not in a depressing way. I just loved it.

  • Mystica November 13, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Sounds tough to read though it sounds good as well.

    • Kim November 13, 2011, 6:34 pm

      I hope so!

  • Andi November 15, 2011, 8:11 am

    This is a book I desperately want to read, as I loved The Year of Magical Thinking and read it in one sitting. However, I’m also super-sensitive to issues of children and losing children (even if they’re grown). I’m not sure it’s for me right now, but it will be one day!

    • Kim November 15, 2011, 8:35 pm

      Yes, this is one I can imagine being soooo hard for parents. I’m not sure I’d be able to read it if I had kids.