Too Much and Not the Mood is a wandering book of essays.
In “Heart Museum,” Durga Chew-Bose shares some of her inner workings. She writes about what she calls nook people (she identifies as one). “What a nook person wants is space, however small, to follow whatever image is driving her, instead of sensing like she might have to trade it in or share it before she’s willing … Nook people find it trying to imagine themselves in real-life situations but long to climb into, for instance, a movie still.”
Nook people sound an awful lot like introverts. “Nook people are those of us who need solitude, but also the sound of someone puttering in the next room. Someone working on his project, down the hall, and behind a door left ajar.”
I like how she captures these nook people, who would rather watch, or who find the dog at the party, who are terrible at giving and receiving hugs. I felt like I found little slivers of myself among this tribe of people, who seek connections but are sometimes afraid of making them, heading straight for the aforementioned dog.
This first essay changes directions so smoothly before you know what has happened you’ve gone from movies starring Claire Danes to the secret inner life of women running across the street and eating grapes to avoid overhearing a stranger’s conversation.
I suppose what lives in our hearts is personal, protected, wandering and precious for reasons only we know. It’s kind of Chew-Bose to bare hers for us. She writes about her parents, and her family, and her friends with kindness and generosity, noticing and sharing the precious things she treasures.
Durga Chew-Bose was at Events 64 (The Proper Study of Mankind) and 78 (The Stuff of Life) at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.