THE IDIOT by Elif Batuman

I didn’t want this book to end. It’s such a nice world to live in for a while. Selin is in her first year of college at Harvard where she learns more from her personal interactions than she does in her classes. The intellectual project she’s working on most seriously is herself. Trying to figure out who she is and what she’s doing. The writing is also great. So simple and thoughtful and wry.

It was kinda sad relating to her romantic situation–she fell in love with this guy from one of her classes via email. They wrote back and forth even tho they didn’t speak too much in person at first and he turned out to have a girlfriend. She worried that he didn’t care about her at all but he did, which is often how it goes. Anyway you can’t help but wish the best for Selin, someone who is very much not an idiot.

Best line: “It was terrible to think that he was in this city, possibly very nearby, but I couldn’t see him or talk to him because he didn’t love me.”

-Rachel Wagner 2020

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