This week’s book recommendation is A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. This may be a book that is more interesting for writers or historians, but I think it’s an interesting read. The book is a memoir of Hemingway’s time in Paris. It was published in 1964, three years after his death in 1961. A “Restored Edition” was published back in 2010 and includes several sketches by Hemingway he made during that time along with other materials not found in the original publication.
Hemingway isn’t a colossal figure in my eyes as he is for many others. I’ll admit I’ve only read a few of his books, this being one of them, and several short stories (my favorite probably being “Hills Like White Elephants”). I understand why people like him and why he is such a figure in the literary world, but he didn’t instill a desire to devour everything he ever wrote that many claim to experience. I’ve experienced that feeling with other writers though. We all have our own tastes.
So why am I recommending this book? Because I like it. Simple as that. I like the truth of it. It’s a memoir, not a fiction. It details his life while in Paris and life was a lot different in the 1920’s than it is today, almost 100 years later (yeah, we aren’t too far away from 2020). Memoirs and biographies are like glimpses into the past where the world is the same but of course strangely different. I really enjoyed the final few chapters because they bring in F. Scott Fitzgerald. The two of them were good friends and there is a scene with Fitzgerald’s car breaking down that stuck with me because it would be considered absurd today. Maybe it was the sign of the times. Maybe people trusted each other a bit more back then (probably), or maybe it was the carelessness of these two writers with their lives outside of their written work. Who knows?
If you are interested in Hemingway, writing, or history, you’ll probably enjoy this book. Even if you don’t care for any of those things, you may still like it. If this book is outside of your comfort bubble of interest, try it anyway, or scroll to the top of the page and look at my other recommendations.