Happy Sunday everyone. I woke up early this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I made some novel updates and as a break, decided I’d revisit a book, any book in fact. I happened on Tim Horvath’s Circulations. It’s a novella that is also included in his Tim’s collection, Understories and here’s an updated version of what I originally wrote for Amazon:
Circulation is a great read, centering around relationships and all their complex quirks. The main character is the director of circulations at a library and his bond/connection with his father is at the heart of the story. His father published a book about spelunking and throughout the main character’s childhood, is focused on weaving together his huge opus, The Atlas. In many ways, that journey becomes emblematic of all the things we seek, those impossible ambitions we ceaselessly strive after. Circulation is filled with humor, a sense of wonder, and a whole lot of insight, especially in the heart breaking endeavors of his father. It’s a literary gem that’s tremendous fun but also leaves you with a feeling of philosophical melancholy at the threads that bind everyone together. I read it in one sitting and on a second read-through, was surprised at all the nuances and lingering moments that I’d missed!
I love highlighting in books with my highlighter and so I wanted to include some of my favourite quotes from when I first read it:
The premise, for all of the book’s unwieldy history, was disarmingly straightforward. My father was eternally fascinated by how things came to be where they currently were.
…I have occasionally tried to take the perspective of the books on my shelves, imagining that they choose their recipients as much as they are chosen. Like animals in the wild, they can, I suppose, camouflage themselves such that at times they blend in with their surroundings.
At what point does one recognize that the truth is precisely the wrong instrument for a task?
The back cover is also really cool, a library card in the book with Tim Horvath’s name that when I first saw, fooled me into thinking it was actually a used library book, ha ha.
The dynamic between his father, the book, his reviews, and his son’s desire to please his father, is one of the most interesting stories I’ve read. You can either buy the novella individually or check it out as part of Tim’s excellent collection Understories.