Book Porn - Coming Clean

Part of my vacation/staycation of nothing involved catching up on my reading. I had long wanted to read this book - Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller - about a girl who literally grew up in garbage. Her dad was a hoarder, and her mother a compulsive shopper, who bought things and then had them pile up in the house, adding to the father's hoarding.

I sat near the pool and read this book in one sitting. I have watched the show, Hoarders, and always feel a bit sad and sick to see how some people live, and have no control over their hoarding. But it was reading about the impact the hoarding has on loved ones. This was a real and raw account of that. I felt every bit of the resentment, shame and helplessness, mixed in with her deep love for her parents. She grew up being ashamed of where she lived which ultimately meant she was ashamed of who she was. It haunts her so much so that she very early on, tried to kill herself, and then later in life, suffered nightmares after years of having fleas and rats living in her room, in her house, because the house was filthy and covered in muck.

I simply cannot fathom living like that, but as she says in a media interview:

Hoarding isn’t rational, it’s compulsive and doesn’t just go away because you want it to.

Great and moving story of a young woman whose entire life was a struggle against the compulsions of her parents.

I also just finished Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed, which is a story of a family haunted by secrets, which over the years have torn them apart and which eventually bring them back together. It was a bit of a slow read, but it was a good story about a family that was fractured by love of all things.

Next up, and one I am not sure I want to read over the Christmas holidays as I know it may take me to a deeply emotional place - Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala. It's the story of a woman who in December 2004 lost her parents, her children and her husband in a tsunami. Yeah...I have already been told this one is a killer - horrifying and heartbreaking - so will have to pace myself, but it's on the Kindle, ready to be read.

What are you currently reading?



8 comments:

  1. Right now I'm reading When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris along with The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. My goal was/is to read 15 books in 2013 and those two are #13 and #14. Knowing how slow of a reader I am these days it'll be a miracle if I finish either by December 31. LOL

    Stopping via SITS.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Kim. I will have to check those out.

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  2. I watched ONE episode of hoarders and that was enough for me. I was horrified and I simply can't understand that kind of compulsion. How awful to have to life with that. Those books all sound great though. You'll have to let us know how the Tsunami one is. After the holidays of course! Currently reading The Book Thief and it's amazing. Definitely recommend it.

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    1. I almost bought The Book Thief, and now that my fave vixen has recommended it, I will add to my Amazon cart next. I started The Wave - already a bit shocking!!!

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  3. Oh wow, those all sound amazing. I love memoirs but these sound tough to read, too. I hate knowing people are in pain.

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    1. I know. It does make you appreciate your own life a bit more though.

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  4. Great book recommendations--I'd love to read the final one in particular, though I'd have to agree. Those gut-wrenching reads can be very emotional to get through so best to pace yourself. Will def add to the reading list.

    I'm currently reading Paris Wife, written about Hemingway's wife and life in Paris during the Jazz Age. If you've ever seen Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," this is the book equivalent and it showcases the the writers, artists, movers and shakers of the period. Interesting, but not grabbing me like I thought it would.

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    1. Charlotte, I read The Paris Wife earlier this year and loved it. I fell into that world and into the Hemingway marriage like I never expected to.

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