Sometimes you just really need a book. You may be in a situation needing distraction, or comfort, or—damnit, you just need a book, I don't need to explain it to you, of all people. A good book, the kind that you find yourself wishing for dinner or conversation to be over, so you can get back to it.
But—and I recognize this isn't a news flash—not all books can be that book. This has been an obscurely disappointing reading summer for me. I've been reading all sorts of different things—Trollope again (usually so reliable); Agatha Christie; Richard Price; Dorothy Sayers (a first for me). And truly, the most satisfying part of it, reading-wise, was 1) watching Lucy get into Agatha Christie for the first time (I sent her off on a bus trip recently with And Then There Were None, and I felt like I'd given her a most precious gift), and 2) having Diana, with whom I had to share a bed for a few nights for heat wave/air conditioning reasons, read Brandon Sanderson aloud to me. Which was glorious.
These were high peaks in my reading pleasure this summer—there's no question. But still, I long for a book (to read) of my own. Nothing seems to grab me the way it once did, I feel like watching Chestnut and Diana dive into the reading they love is a bit like seeing them devour an appealing meal from behind glass. I want some!
I admit that it is possible the problem is me. I'm tired and crabby and stressed this summer, which makes me a less than perfect reader. But, I just wish…that I was coming upon the Kate Atkinson detective novels for the first time. Or…just something, anything, that compels me. Right now I'm lazily going between I Love You, Beth Cooper, which is more like a TV script than a novel (fine if that's your thing), and The Chess Men, which is too convinced of its own gravity to enjoy. It's possible I am a bitter, difficult to satisfy jerk, incapable of enjoying anything. Anyone know a book for someone like that?