Jonathan Odell of Minneapolis writes:

I'm presently reading Patti Smith's "M Train," a gorgeously written book about nothing, yet everything, and how anything might lead you anywhere, at any time. The memoir covers a year of reflective pilgrimage in the life of the rock icon and is peopled with her friends past and present, as varied as William Burroughs, Frieda Kahlo and Bobby Fisher. Yet it is told with heart, without an ounce of the snark you might expect from someone known as the High Priestess of Punk. Having just lost my own mother, Smith's story, told with an elegiac, dreamlike quality, reminds me how life really operates — that life is not plot-driven, but rather meanders, flowing at times back on itself; that past and present have no boundary; that life loops and swirls, and can in its course resurrect moments long submerged; that nothing is ever lost to those brave enough to yield to the subtle tug of its current. In "M Train," the comfort of a cup of coffee in a favorite haunt to the memory of the loss of a favorite coat can revive a departed love, an absent parent, another time. Smith shows how honest, open-hearted reflection can make loss and grief beautifully bearable.

Jonathan Odell's novel "Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League" has been chosen for Plymouth Reads and One Book, One Lakeville in April.

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