Book #1 – A book by a female author – Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner
Genre: Young Adult/ChickLit
Movie/TV Adaptations: Film in-development produced and directed by Susan Johnson
This book was just calling out to me. Seriously.
I had been seeing this book in my office lying atop a cabinet for weeks. I was really curious but I figured it was kept there by one of my colleagues who sits near the cabinet. So I didn’t bother much with it.
Cut to just before New Years Eve when the office was nearly empty save a handful of people. Our office hires a majority of temporary staff members (myself included) and by then mostly everyone had finished entirely. I was in the office that day wrapping up work for the year, when I passed by the cabinet and there it was, the book was still lying around on the same cabinet, and now screaming at me to pick it up.
And so I did. I asked around and one of my colleagues told me that it was left behind by one of our other temporary co-workers who had left the country forever. I happily picked up since no one was obviously claiming it.
Turns out, it was probably left behind intentionally after all. The first title page inside had a little label from Book Crossing which is a very interesting project involving reading and releasing of books. If you have found a book, let them know it’s safe and sound on the website (through the code found on the label) and release it again when you’re done reading.
I love this concept of letting your books go anonymously. A certain mystery that surrounds the book – of where it could have been before you, who owned it, what their story is and which part of the world the book will travel to next. A book that has journeyed to different places and seen many things than any person could possibly see.
Anyway, keeping aside the book’s romanticized experiences, let’s talk more about the actual plot.
The story is written in the first narrative and is about a highly intelligent and moral nineteen year old girl Carrie Pilby, who is already a Harvard graduate at her age (having skipped three grades in school). She lives alone in New York in an apartment funded for by her father who also pays for her therapist who she sees once a week. In fact, her therapist is the only person with whom she has any real human interaction.
Despite being a very intellectual person, Carrie finds it difficult to get out of bed every morning. Her only two hobbies include sleeping and watching the top-100 films from the list compiled by the Association of American Film Reviewers. She lacks ambition, goals and actual friendships or even normal human interactions since not many people share the same views as her and she doesn’t believe in following the crowd. Persuaded by her father through his connections, she takes up temporary jobs as a night document proofreader at law firms.
To help her adjust more into the world and increase her chances of making friends, her therapist devises a simple five-point plan for her which includes listing 10 things she loves, joining an organisation or a club, going on a date, telling someone she cares and celebrating the New Year. A simple plan with simple goals.
The rest of the story revolves around what Carrie’s interpretation of these simple goals are and what she does to complete them and the lessons she learns along the way about her life, her values and morals and other people around her.
My review of the book? I loved it. I was able to connect with this girl and her ideals on many levels (except her super intelligence maybe!) and could immediately tell how insightful the author is from the way she has written about the psychological perspectives of the girl’s mind and the dilemmas she faces as a girl who is quite mature for her age.
Carrie tries to be less rigid about her ideals and slowly make herself adaptable to the people around her despite their level of intellect or shortcomings and make sense of what’s wrong and what’s right through her own experiences (something she would not have had she been sitting around in her apartment) and through the eyes of others around her.
I am glad I read it and even more glad I found this book the way I did. It made me appreciate the art of sharing a pleasant experience and making it possible for others to pay it forward. Loving and letting it go. I certainly hope this wasn’t my last Book Crossing experience and hope to have many more.
Meanwhile, some quotes that I loved from this book:
1. “I think that this is a beautiful world. You just have to find the small things in it to love.”
2. “If I ever meet someone who asks me to meet up for some fruit juice, I’ll marry him.”
3. “The problem is, we psych ourselves out of happiness. We don’t pay attention to the little things that make us happy.”
I will surely be releasing this book onward for it to make new friends around the world with the hope that they will do the same. I really also hope to watch the movie based on this book which is in talks of being made.
Happy Reading! 🙂