RIP Ken Grimwood and Amy Covey

I just posted this review on Goodreads about Ken Grimwood’s book Replay.

“It may seem like I give every book I read five stars, but that’s because if I don’t love a book within a few chapters, I stop reading it and move on. I didn’t used to do that. It used to be if I started a book I felt I must finish it. But now I want to be carried away within a few chapters. This book carried me away pretty much from the beginning.”

There’s so much in those few sentences that is in some way about my upcoming birthday. First, I’ve been on this spate of reading books with a Groundhog Day structure. People who live a period of their lives over and over and over. Examining your life is something one does when turning 65. (Which is not to say you think your life is over.). Second, this new thing of not finishing books and only wanting to read books I get engrossed in almost immediately. It’s not just about having less time, but being more insistent about how I want to spend it.

And last, I just read Ken Grimwood’s bio. He died of a heart attack in 2003, when he was 59. It’s horrible that he should have died of a heart attack because the main character in Replay dies of a heart attack over and over and Grimwood focuses on how painful a heart attack can be. Grimwood was working on the sequel to Replay when he died (which just kills me, I would have loved to read that).

Anyway, sad, sad, sad. On another sad note, I recently passed by this plaque underneath a tree on Christopher Street.

Amy Covey Memorial Treet, Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, New York City

I figured the tree, which is beautiful, must have been planted a long time ago, it looks like it’s been growing for years, except the plaque didn’t look very old. So I looked up Amy Covey. She died in 2009. They don’t say her age, but based on when she graduated high school she would have been around 33. More sad, sad, sad. It looks like she was a lovely, vibrant human being. Life will break your heart. Repeatedly. (Back to my Groundhog Day theme.). I promise a happier post next! I’m feeling mostly happier these days.

Amy Covey Memorial Treet, Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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