What amazes me about reading is when you find that perfect book for that perfect time in your life. Since I've been slowly trudging through books ever since I moved here from New York (where commuting gave me over 2 hours a day for reading), it is always incredible to find a book I don't want to put down and can get through in less than a few weeks.
For me, that book was Cleaving, by Julie Powell. You may remember Powell from the heartwarming Julie and Julia. Well, forget her. Cleaving is the evil twin, the story of a dark time when Powell worked in a butcher shop while she was in a wrenching affair. The parallels she draws between breaking down meat and tumultuous relationships are poetic and relevant. Though dark and ugly, the writing is brutally honest and vulnerable, which takes a lot of guts (did I mention the parallels?). At a time when I couldn't be more disenchanted by food and love, this was the absolute perfect read. This takes something as rudimentary as butchery or love, and shows the multi-layered complexity through beauty and ugliness.
At last, the part of me that always found butchery to be intriguing is finally understood by another. I am this close to walking into Willowside Meats and asking for a job.