Love…in 185 definitions.

fraught, adj.

Does every “I love you” deserve an “I love you too”? Does every kiss deserve a kiss back? Does every night deserve to be spent on a lover?

If the answer to any of these is “No,” what do we do?

Ever read a book that was miraculously able to pinpoint feelings you’ve had but have never expressed out loud, or described moments you’ve experienced that you thought were unique to you? Well if you haven’t, I suggest you give The Lover’s Dictionary’ by David Levithan a go.

This book is…well, it’s different. For a start it’s a dictionary that passes for a novel. We travel from A right through to Z, going through entries that give us insight into the ups and downs of the nameless (male) narrator’s relationship with his unnamed girlfriend.

What makes the reading process so rewarding is that the story is obviously not told in full and is not written chronologically. A lot is left unsaid allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps. Through these anecdotes/entries you learn so much more about these two people than if it were a full blown novel.

breach, n.

I didn’t want to know who he was, or what you did, or that it didn’t mean anything.

This is a love story that doesn’t hold back. All those little nuances of a relationship (both successful and failing) are detailed, making the story unique yet universal. I don’t want to reveal anymore because a lot of the delight in reading this comes from how the story unfolds; alphabetically. 


Interestingly, this book works very well as an ebook. I read it on my kindle and found I had a greater understanding and appreciation of what was being said because I could just touch my screen to find the full definition of more complex words. You could, of course, simply pull out a dictionary from your shelf, but all that hassle when you can just touch.

encroach, adj.

The first three nights we spent together, I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t used to your breathing, your feet on my legs, your weight in the bed. In truth, I still sleep better when I’m alone. But now I allow that sleep isn’t always the most important thing.

This book is funny and it’s sad, but most of all, it’s real. Read it.

D’ya have any favourite words/entries from this dictionary?



Visiting Jennifer Egan’s ‘Goon Squad’.

You know a book is good when you’re asked to describe it and the first words that come out of your mouth are ‘I can’t even tell you what it’s about…’ This is precisely how I’ve been responding to questions about Jennifer Egan’s ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’.

do know how to construct a basic sentence (more or less), but in my defence, even the publishers (Corsair, Constable & Robinson) seemed to have a hard time explaining. This brings me to Exhibit A, the book’s blurb (which is vague at best):

“…vividly captures the moments where lives interact, and where fortunes ebb and flow. Egan depicts […] the sad consequences for those who couldn’t fake it during their wild youth – madness, suicide or prison – in this captivating, wryly humorous story of temptation and loss.”

Yeah. What did I say?

The book is split into 13 chapters, each dedicated to a single character. These characters are so random, and their lives equally so, yet the subtle way in which Egan links one to the other is so precise, so surprising, so utterly perfect.

You move from the life of a record producer with no sex drive, to a kleptomaniac half-heartedly seeking help, to that of a dictator’s publicist etc. You can’t make this stuff up. The book is funny; there’s no doubt about it, but it’s a dark humour that underlines the undeniable pathos of the characters’ lives. It’s so bizarre, yet so real.

I highly recommend this, if only to hear you say to someone else ‘I can’t even tell you what it’s about.’

If you’ve read this already, let me know what you thought! Only if you can articulate this of course! haha

The Goon Squad

The Goon Squad