These Precious Days is a book of essays, which was written by Ann Patchett during the pandemic. It is wonderful. I loved her last book of essays, but this one feels more personal, and listening to it read by her added to that effect.
She discusses her 3 fathers, her year of not shopping, traveling around Europe in her 20’s without a plan, her graduate school experience getting an MFA, her husband’s penchant for buying and flying airplanes, her mother’s beauty, about not wanting to have children, what career papers to keep (my least favorite bit), her friend’s cancer, magic mushrooms, her Catholic upbringing, writing tips, death, grief, favorite authors (Kate Di Camillo and John Updike), and how book covers are chosen. My favorite bits were about her childhood best friend, about how to get rid of extra stuff out of your house, comments on owning a bookstore, and knitting. How she cherishes her friends with openness and presence is inspiring.
She likened holding her dying father’s hand to holding a linen sack full of bumblebees. Her writing is radiantly simple, while still larger than life.
Ann Patchett reads this memoir of separate essays, and she feels accessible and real. She’s a vegetarian who also doesn’t drink alcohol, which are life choices I admire and share. Reading/hearing this, you feel like you get to know her, and that is a true gift. Her level of authenticity is exemplary.
Great to listen on audio in small spurts while driving, I give this book of essays 5 stars.