My escape into life

Forgive me for being exhausted today.  I stayed up way, way too late reading the just-released biography of the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein — Wendy And The Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein by Julie Salamon.

Rob got a big chuckle out of finding me burrowed in with my hand still attached to my iPad after I stayed up half the night reading. Do books ever captivate you like that?

Even though I knew I’d pay the price today in being tired and feeling behind the curve, I was so fascinated by Wendy’s life that I ignored the clock and kept reading until well past 3AM!

And, I’m glad I did.

For any of you who has ever attended an all-women’s college, or read Wendy’s novel Elements of Style, or essays Shiksa Goddess, Or How I Spent My Forties, or seen The Heidi Chroniclesor The Sisters Rosensweig on Broadway, you know what a unique and humorous role Wendycarved out to illuminate women and the Baby Boom generation.

To me, she was even more fascinating in real life.  She never married, had mystery “husbands” and she gave birth for the first time at age 48 to a daughter.  Seven years later, in 2006, Wendydied.  Part of the reason I stayed up so late, thumbing furiously through my iPad was to find out what happened to her little girl.

Before I got locked on to Wendy and The Lost Boys, I also was nose deep last week into another inspiring and thought-provoking book  Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch.

The author of this page-turner lost her beloved older sister at age 46 to cancer.  After her sister’s death, Nina consiously side-stepped her grief and sped full force into activity because she believed she had “to live for two.”

Three years later, exhausted, and with her own 46th birthday approaching, Nina stopped running and starting grieving by reading books she and her sister would have loved and discussed.  For one full year, she read a book every day and wrote a review of it.

She did so, she explained, “not as an escape from life, but an escape back into life.”

What Wendy Wasserstein’s and Nina Sankovitch’s lives have in common are powerful stories that give us a front row seat into another woman’s rich and varied life and the strategies they used to live their lives.

When I find women like that I hold on tight and wish to squeeze out every ounce of wisdom and understanding they have to share.  So I stay up half the night!

When was the last time you were captivated by a book?  I have my own take on that famous saying “you can never be too rich or too thin.” Rather, I believe: you can never have enough books.

Please share your own story about a book that captured your attention below in the comments section. I’d love to hear.