most to me are the ones that require unconventional practices of procurement. I discovered this gem hidden below a bundle of other books in the Barnes and Noble bargain bin and I knew it had to belong to me!
You see, invisible reader, I always feel so heartbroken looking at the unwanted books of B&N, the ones just waiting for someone to take them to a forever home. I suppose it's similar to going to an animal shelter in that I want to take everyone home with me. But I digress. This book, published in 1996, just sat there, this relic from a later time filled with an unknowable past I wanted to uncover. Before this book became mine, I carried it around the store in search of Jo Knowles' newest YA novel, Read Between the Lines. (You can find my review of her amazing, amazing book here! ) But once again, I digress.
I purchased Strange Dreams because the title, more than anything, piqued my interest. The whole concept of dreams has been on my mind constantly as of late. And while I wondered
about the peculiar stick figures, it was the font, imprinted on those pages, that captured my attention with its whimsy and wonder. To me, all of it seemed beautiful. But it wasn't until I actually got into the book that I found an even deeper beauty!
With both short stories and drawings, the two mediums collide in a lovely combination that reaffirms the power of storytelling. Some are fanciful, some funny, and others simply speak to the universality of being human. This is the type of book that can be read in one sitting. It is something you can come back to again and again to read favorite pages or new passages, or maybe even a book that justs sits staring from your shelf, promising possibility someday. It's one of those books that you can make your own.
I suppose, maybe, I'm one of the last people to hear about Brian Andreas' many books belonging to the Story People Collection. Yet, by some cosmic connection perhaps, I discovered that some of the stories within this book seemed familiar. In fact, I had a feeling of deja vu upon encountering some of them. Maybe I've seen them on tumblr or printed on a pillow in some gift shop somewhere. Who really knows? Maybe it's just that stories are universal and one way or another, they find their way to us. And then they let us keep them forever and that's the real gift!
I'm sure there will be at least a few more reviews of books about dreams in the coming months. With my thesis delving into the world of dreams, I can't seem to tear myself away from the whole concept of them. And maybe, after all this time, I'm still a dreamer. I'd like to think so anyway.
If any of you are looking for something short and sweet and satisfying in every way, I suggest reading any of Brian Andreas' books. With Strange Dreams, there is this illusory sort of power in reading about other people's dream stories and trying to think of some yourself. The more conscious we are of dreams, the more real they become. And sometimes we need to believe in our dreams for them to really come true.
Maybe this is a foolish notion to have in a time when Facebook statuses and Tweets are supposed to pass for coffee shop conversations and dream journals. But it is in this media driven world that I like to fall into these archaic practices and once again believe in the possibility of life. And I hope you will too!