The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

You many never find me reading books with essays, but that is about to change after I read this one. I’ve been missing out on a whole lot!

Thank you Algonquin Books for my gifted free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, and that we often overlook in our busy lives. His is a meditation on delight that takes a clear-eyed view of the complexities, even the terrors, in his life, including living in America as a black man; the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture; the loss of those he loves. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: the way Botan Rice Candy wrappers melt in your mouth, the volunteer crossing guard with a pronounced tremor whom he imagines as a kind of boat-woman escorting pedestrians across the River Styx, a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, pickup basketball games, the silent nod of acknowledgment between black people. And more than any other subject, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world—his garden, the flowers in the sidewalk, the birds, the bees, the mushrooms, the trees. This is not a book of how-to or inspiration, though it could be read that way. Fans of Roxane Gay, Maggie Nelson, and Kiese Laymon will revel in Gay’s voice, and his insights. The Book of Delights is about our connection to the world, to each other, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. Gay’s pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.

This was the best pick-me-up for a week that has kept me on the #strugglebus. Ross Gay is a super talented writer. This is my first written work that I’ve read of his. This entire book is all about finding happiness and joy in all the small things that happen throughout your day. It’s a eye-opening perspective change that everyone needs to experience for themselves. This book has helped me find beauty and delight in even the worst of days. I loved that these were short essays to where you could read one or two a day to keep a smile on your face Basically, what I’m trying to say is: Buy this book!

5/5 Stars

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