So it looks like yesterday’s post struck a chord! I can’t tell you how happy it made me 1) to realize I wasn’t alone and 2) to see some of my old school bloggy friends posting a comment and liking my link on Facebook. How fun is that? And no quiz necessary! Ha!
One of my cohorts in this week’s retro blogging adventure described our efforts best: [We're] blogging all fun stuff this week as a throw-back to the old days of blogging when a little frivolity was a fine thing. A little frivolity a fine thing, indeed it is. So in the interest of a little frivolity and the good ol’ days of blogging, I offer a post on reading and the quest for good fiction, though I would argue good fiction is more than mere frivolity. But I digress…
I read a book Saturday, as in I started and finished it all on the same calendar date. This was once a usual practice of mine, back when I was a teenager and my books shorter and my attention span longer. I also had no other responsibilities, shall we say, diverting my reading time.
But this Saturday I had the day to myself, all day, all to myself, all alone. Though the aforementioned responsibilities beckoned, I decided–with great eagerness–to spend the day lost in the pages of a book.
I went to the library late Friday afternoon and checked out a title I didn’t know much about by an author I didn’t know much about. Well, that’s not entirely true. In the interest of full disclosure, I did read a couple of reviews, as I generally always do, mainly because I wanted this book, this day, to be a memorable escape, emphasis on escape. Memorable would be nice but not necessary. The few reviews I consulted made this book seem promising.
So I read. I did other things too. I washed and folded clothes. I watched football. I read a little more. I colored my hair. I drank coffee, lots of coffee. I missed my guys. And I read and read some more.
At the end of the day I turned the last page and closed the book, profoundly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was well written and I was fully engaged in the plot and the characters. Not only that but it was a compelling enough story to keep me interested until the very end (so many novels don’t, you know). And, after finishing it, I kept thinking about the story and the characters, generally a mark of the best sorts of books in my opinion.
But, if truth be told, I just didn’t like it.
Though I’ve no doubt I’m overthinking (and, hello, not for the first time), this makes me wonder about my standards for that elusive good read. And about where all the good reads have gone. I desperately want to read a story that delights and charms, a novel like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Something more “lit” than chick lit but something less than the dark and brooding ambiance that marks much of today’s popular literature. Dystopian, mystery, suspense, all have their place and all are genres I enjoy. But today, now, I want something pleasant, something light, but not too light, something that captivates and engages and makes me happy.
When I find it, I’ll let you know. Until then you can probably find me with my nose buried in Pride and Prejudice, the very best among the best of charming and delightful reads. Dear Jane, she never disappoints.
So. Can you fellow bibliophiles help a girl out? Do you have a fiction title you recommend? What’s your favorite non-brooding titles? Have you ever read a book that was good but disappointed? Tell me more!