Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rachel Resnick - "Love Junkie" at Book Soup

I'm a big fan of independent booksellers, and I was more than happy to trek over to West Hollywood for a particular event at an uber-cool independent bookstore: Rachel Resnick's reading/book signing of her recently released memoir Love Junkie at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip! (Metro Tip: If you get off at Sunset/Vermont Red Line station, it's just a little bit aways on the Metro 2 bus...)

If you've been following this blog since its inception (if so, thank you!), you may recall the name Rachel Resnick has been mentioned before. Last noted on this blog in 2006, Ms. Resnick was in discussion with Janet Fitch at ALOUD at Central Library with Fitch's release of Paint it Black.

Fast forward - and rewinding a little - to this past Tuesday, Ms. Resnick was at her second LA launch event for her recently released memoir - Love Junkie. I'm a big fan of Resnick's work in general, and a fan of her memoir in particular. It's just the type of book that has you turning the page because the more you enter into Resnick's past as a self-professed "love junkie", the more you're intrigued about her journey, of how she pulled herself out a downward spiral where love is a drug that even the non-junkies can understand.

The memoir is a rollercoaster ride through relationships, and it would first appear that this is the book's driving force - the pulsating, yet destructive nature of the author's romantic and sexual entanglements. But this gives the "drug/addiction" too much credit. The true heart of the novel is the love junkie herself, whose voice weaves the reader in and out of her harrowing journey of men and her knee-scrapping/heart-bleeding acts for love. Resnick adeptly gives just pause to these scenes wrought with disaster by analyzing the roots of her problem, presenting examples of love from her childhood experiences - moments of self-actualizing that gives you time to take a gasp of breath before Resnick takes you through another scene and you hold your breath hoping for her realization and recovery.

The Book Soup event included Resnick reading passages from her book, choosing from scenes that showcases her ability to present descriptive characters and settings. The tone of the event was light and fun - interwoven with jokes as they arose from questions. Much of the audience was also interested in the format of the memoir itself and the motivation and inspiration of how Love Junkie came into fruition.

The best part of author events is to both see the author who wrote the book and hear them read their words. This is particularly true with a memoir event because it's just great to see the face behind a work that is true, especially one where you've been able to read through what the author has had to go through. Whether or not you can identify with the author's situation is almost a moot point because just being able to recognize and acknowledge that a person has endured a journey and is living a life focused on recovery is just inspiring.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

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