Not too sad, not too funny…

Years ago, my running group tried to become a book club. We thought the wine would be more fun than those little water bottles you wear around your waist on long runs.

But the whole idea fell apart when we tried to choose a book.

“I have to read the last page first,” my friend Heidi said. “I can’t read the book if the last page will make me cry.”

“I don’t read funny books,” someone else said. “They’re never funny.”

And so it went…

Failed book club members,
but supportive friends.

Between us, we excluded all possible reads, and we were left with only running.

I feel a little like that failed book club, in my pandemic reading choices. I need something that will hold my attention amidst a thousand distractions, but not something too trivial because I feel as if I should be doing something useful with my time, and not something too sad because there are already a lot of sad things.

This week, I settled on comfort reading, and I’ve been churning through Emily of New Moon at bedtime.

But I’m also listening to the audiobook of My Lady Jane, which is somehow a collaboration between three authors, Cynthia Hand,¬†Brodi Ashton,¬†and Jodi Meadows. It’s an alternative history of England with the quirkiest narrative voice ever, and I’m enthralled.

Next up, and even at this moment waiting for me at the curb-side pick-up at Vancouver Kidsbooks, is The Glass Hotel by Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel. She describes it on her website as: “a ghost story that’s also about white collar crime and container shipping.” (What???)

Emily is the author of pandemic novel Station 11, another capitivating read, even (especially?) during COVID19. I have high hopes for The Glass Hotel… I’ll let you know!

What are you reading these days? And what are your rules for book choices? I’d love to hear…

Emily

There is really nothing more annoying than when your child, the child who seems to read a dozen books a week (and so could obviously fit one more into her schedule), REFUSES to read a book that you’ve recommended.

After Silence loved the Borrowers series and the Oz books and Narnia and Anne of Green Gables, I suggested she try Emily of New Moon. Which she made no effort to do.

So, I bought her all three Emily books for Christmas.

She put them in her closet.

Now, I should maybe stop to explain that I LOVED the Emily books as a child, I still love them, and every writer I know loves Emily more than Anne. I considered duct-taping the books to Silence’s forehead until she agreed to read them.

I couldn’t find that chapter in the parenting guides.

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Finally, FINALLY, she was a little under the weather one day this fall and she downloaded the Emily of New Moon audio book from the Vancouver Public Library.

She loved it.

I was torn between peeing my pants with joy and tearing out my eyelashes one by one.

She’s now on book three.

I may steal the print versions and read them myself.