A sure sign the blog has been fallow for too long – a rash of spam comments on very old posts. Those things magically appear like dust bunnies under the bed at the first sign of neglect. Like most people I’ve been a little pre-occupied this week, mulling over the events in Boston and Texas and being quietly thankful to have spent an entirely uneventful week in my little corner of the world.
But mindful that it could change any second, as it did for the people in Boston, and Watertown, and West.
It’s all combined to make me feel a little melancholy.
My spirits were lifted Friday evening as I gathered with a group of bookish ladies for a lively discussion of The Orchardist. If you recall, I waxed rhapsodic about the book a few weeks ago. And while the general consensus among the group was to praise the writing, several people found the story simply too bleak to call enjoyable.
As much as I loved The Orchardist, I could never call it a “feel good” book. It’s rather like the events of the past week – it’s a book that forces you to contemplate evil and sadness. It’s a book that uncovers isolation and hopelessness and unfulfilled dreams. As we sat around the table and talked about these things, it occurred to me how often I gravitate to books like that, how I almost relish that kind of literary atmosphere. Of course there’s sadness and pain and disillusionment and misunderstanding. I take it for granted in my books, like I’ve come to take it for granted in my world.
Having lived a lot “in my head” I know my own penchant toward the melancholy. My book choices reflect that – the memoirs and novels I read often focus on people who suffer, who seek spiritual and emotional sustenance. I don’t like violence or cruelty – won’t read a book that has any of that in it – but I do hunker into those books that delve into the depths of the human experience.
Of course this week I haven’t had to read about it in fiction…it’s been all over the news.
I wonder if other readers find themselves drawn to books that reflect their emotional temperature? Do you?