But books are not like friends –– where I might weigh the quirks in one against the charms of another when planning a night on the town or a weekend road-trip. Nope, books will just wait peaceably until you have time to get together. And they rarely squabble.
The Dirty Life is a memoir that dives right into the hard choices that bring a person to discover her life's work.
A New York writer, Kristin Kimball went to interview a pioneering young farmer in Pennsylvania for a magazine story.
At the forefront of a movement in local, organically sourced food, the young farmer captivated her. In a few short months, she is ready to give up her tiny Manhattan apartment for the "dirty life" of working a small farm in Northern New York.
This story about life in sustainable agriculture is not without its moments of humor, but it's a serious story about someone finding her purpose.
If this book were a friend, it would be that smart one who is passionate about topic you don't know, but who is open-hearted and more than willing to teach you.
The one who's not always comfortable to be around, but who is inspiring and just plain interesting.
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, however, would be the kind of friend who makes you laugh even as your life is falling apart around you. The sort of pal you want others to love, even though you also –– a little –– want to keep her all to yourself.
Rhoda Janzen starts the story with a series of really dreadful disasters including a terrible car wreck and the desertion of her husband for "a guy named Bob from Gay.com." An English professor and poet in Michigan, she ends up back with her parents in California.
But these aren't just parents, these are Mennonite parents. Don't know Mennonites? Well, Janzen, who had long since left the church and community, is glad to tell you.
And you will be glad she does. Just be careful about –– as my actual friend Lois says –– snotting coffee all over yourself. The book is that funny. And pity the person sitting next to you calmly watching Sports Center, because he is going to have to listen to you read aloud some of these wonderful paragraphs as you chuckle and wipe up spilled coffee.