Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
I chose a lot of non-fiction books for this challenge. I wasn't anticipating that when I got the idea for my theme. Because I mostly read fiction, I expected my list of books here would be mostly fiction. (I think it's going to come out to about half and half.)
This list isn't about my favorite books, it's about the books that have been significant in my life. When I started, I didn't realize there was a difference. I could certainly chose a novel I loved for each letter of the alphabet, but when I looked closely at my list I realized most of the books that have affected me deeply are non-fiction. That makes sense, since I write non-fiction. I believe our personal stories are powerful, so much more than we give them credit for. I also believe the true things I have experienced in my life are far more bizarre than any fiction I could ever write!
I'd read three of Augusten Burrough's non-fiction books before Dry and I liked them just fine. I like his writing because it's gritty, and he certainly does not sugar coat anything. This memoir of his alcoholism knocked my socks off. The raw-ness of his story telling here is incredible.
I am aware of the power alcohol can have over a person. I have my own experiences of submitting to that power in times of weakness. My stories aren't like the ones told here, but I can understand how the slope could become so slippery as to lead to such situations. Everyone's version of Rock Bottom looks different. I thoroughly appreciated this brutally honest look into someone else's.