Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reading: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Some favorite entries so far:

ardent, adj.
It was after sex, when there was still heat and mostly breathing, when there was still touch and mostly thought... it was as if the whole world could be reduced to the sound of a single string being played, and the only thing this sound could make me think of was you. Sometimes desire is air; sometimes desire is liquid. And every now and then, when everything else is air and liquid, desire solidifies, and the body is the magnet that draws its weight.
basis, n.
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.
beguile, v.
It's when you walk around the apartment in my boxers when you don't know I'm awake. And then that grin, when you do know I'm awake. You spend so much time in the morning making sure every hair is in place. But I have to tell you: I like it most like this, haphazard, sleep strewn, disarrayed.
candid, adj.
  "Most times, when I'm having sex, I'd rather be reading."
   This was, I admit, a strange thing to say on a second date. I guess I was just giving you warning.
  "Most times when I'm reading," you said, "I'd rather be having sex."


  1. OMG! I love the one for Candid! this sounds really, interesting and awesome and different!

  2. This is a book that's been on my radar for a while :) It just sounds so cute!! :)

  3. You always find such interesting books that tell their stories in such different ways. This sounds amazing. I love the definition of ardent!

  4. Alex, it IS a different sort of book. It's a story told in those really short entries. I'm enjoying it so far. LOL, "candid" is a good one, there are more... but I didn't want to fill a whole page!

    Nath, I've had this book in my radar since last year. I think it was ames? who reviewed it or read it. So far is cute in some parts, and quite interesting in others. I'm not sure where is going.

    Orannia, I love interesting books! This is another short one with an great format, and it looks like an interesting story to tell. I'll let you all know when I'm done. *g*

  5. I really enjoyed this one. The story was so interesting too, and I like that it wasn't told in a linear way.

  6. Ames, I know you did! Your review is the one that had me place this book in my "list" of books to read. I'm also enjoying that "non-linear" style. And, I can't wait to see how the story ends... some of those entries are rather surprising so far. :)


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