Earlier this year I vowed to read more than just newspapers and magazines. We subscribe to print editions of about half a dozen magazines along with the Wall Street Journal and Sunday New York Times. It’s our way of supporting journalism but there is something wonderful about turning the pages of a bound book.
This summer, I’ve been stealing time to read Rachel Khong’s debut novel, Goodbye, Vitamin. The book description does not fully reflect what the book is about – a young woman trying to repair many things in her life while trying to care for her father who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sound like a downer? It’s a funny book that’s achingly beautiful in terms of how it’s been written, structured, and researched. The book mostly takes place in a Southern California suburb so if you’re familiar with that scene, you’ll really connect with the atmosphere that Rachel creates in the book.
I know a little about Alzheimer’s, having edited Unforgettable, the culinary biography about Paula Wolfert who is dealing with dementia. I’ve written a VWK post about brain-healthy food, too. What Rachel has done in Goodbye, Vitamin is weave the research and brainy food into an engrossing, poignant story. I’m nearing the end of the book and I’m reluctant to finish it. That would mean I’d no longer have the joy of reading her prose.