*Updated cover, no longer relevant
Several factors drew me to Amy Fusselman’s autobiographical account, The Pharmacist’s Mate (Penguin), including the attractive cover illustration of an egg, anchor and empty bird’s nest, and Dave Eggers’s quote that this is a “brief miracle of a book” (which is true—it’s just under 100 pages of minimalist prose). But what really drew me in was the statement that this is a book about birth, death, guitars and goldfish—which is also true. Fusselman shares her desire to get pregnant and her grief over the loss of her dad, whose life at sea as the pharmacist’s mate is recounted through several of his diary entries. Her musings on mundane everyday events and objects give them startling life and beauty. I want to buy this book for all my friends.