Finding the time to read for pleasure is a perennial New Year resolution of mine. This month, I finally crossed one more book off my ever-growing “to-read” list with Nick Hornby’s “Funny Girl.” Set in 1964, the book tells the story of Barbara Parker, a young woman from Blackpool, England who wants to see herself in a role women of her time scarcely played — comedic television. She moves to London with hardly an inkling of a plan for what comes next. After landing a job at a cosmetics counter, she meets a series of men — all teetering on the peripheries of show business — who somehow turn her into a national star.
This is not a book about love, nor about the hardships of being a woman in a world made for men (though these themes do, of course, play a role in Barbara’s adaptation to her new life). The book instead explores self-discovery, the pursuit of passion, and the lifelong aftermath of making your dreams come true.
It’s a light-hearted, chuckle-out-loud book that leaves readers inspired to try everything once and ignore the critics who say they shouldn’t.
What have you read recently?