I’m absolutely engrossed in a book at the moment and I love being engrossed in a book. When I get like this, I want to read day and night, but have to force myself to put the book down so as to draw it out and keep the characters alive a little longer. I’ll purposely read slowly – often reading through fragments twice – to really soak it in. Sometimes when I finish a book I feel a sense of emptiness for a few days, like I’ve lost a good friend.
For many years now, most of my reading falls into the (completely made-up) genre of “culturally educational fiction.” By this I mean fictional stories that take place somewhere cool and different – like Afghanistan, India, Iran or Haiti – and often during an interesting period of time. They completely capture me with their stories of love, angst, hope, and human suffering, all wrapped together in the rich package of a different culture and history.
Some of my favourites: A Fine Balance (and basically anything else by Rohinton Mistry), A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Poisonwood Bible. And a book that doesn’t quite fit this genre, but is my absolute favourite of all time so deserves to be mentioned: Bel Canto.
John has his own name for this genre: depressing.
Yes, admittedly that is kind of a problem. I love these books but man, sometimes there are too many real-life things to make me cry for me to voluntarily sign up for more. At these times, I need to rely on something like Bridget Jones’s Diary (which I’ve read too many times to count), and more recently Jennifer Weiner books. Though don’t be fooled by their innocent looking pastel covers like I was – these will make you cry too.
This time, needing a break from reality, I picked up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s a mystery, by no means truly memorable literature, but addicting as cocaine dipped in chocolate, deep-fried. It’s a selection out of John’s library, which I rarely visit (he reads books about computers and physics for fun), but was finally convinced to read this. And now I’m pretty sure I have my lunch-hours, evenings and weekends booked for a while; there are two more books in the series.
And with that I wish you a lovely Easter long weekend. You know what I’ll be doing. Though I’m hoping the weather holds up so we can also step outside for some back-patio clean-up and long Cassie walks.