In preparing for a recent trip, I was in search of something easy to read on the plane. Lemony Snicket’s compilation of quotes sounded like it would fit the bill, and its small dimensions made it easy to throw in my carry-on bag.
Title: Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid. Author: Lemony Snicket (pseudonym of Daniel Handler). Year of Original Publishing: 2007. Genre: Young Adult Non-fiction.
Back Cover: “Life is a turbulent journey, fraught with confusion, heartbreak, and inconvenience. This book will not help.”
My Thoughts: While I didn’t get much reading done on the short flight (I was too caught up in the enjoyment of being in the air to focus on something as commonplace as a book), I skimmed over 6 of the 13 chapters and finished the rest a couple days ago. The layout of the book is not complicated, with quotes arranged one-to-a-page according to such topics as ‘Travel’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘A Life of Mystery’, and ‘An Overall Feeling of Doom One Cannot Ever Escape No Matter What One Does’. Because Snicket does not presume that his audience has any prior understanding of what he writes about, ‘truths’ are told in a matter-of-fact (if sometimes unconventional) manner. That translates to stating the obvious in some cases, and I was either left in stitches or pausing to considering the deeper meaning behind the words throughout.
Sampling of Content:
Taking one’s chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing but scream and cling to a plastic duck.
A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.
Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.
It’s a curious thing, the death of a loved one…. It’s like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more step than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try to readjust the way you thought of things.
Sometimes words are not enough.
Conclusion: This book may be short, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgettable.
Next on my review list: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (apparently I’m one of the few who have not yet read this classic?)