Lighten Up?

You don’t see much of me here these days, because I’m in a sort of gloomy reading blah. It’s not that I don’t read, mind you, but every book I pick up is incredibly gloomy and dark. (And whenever I try to take something light and fluffy, it just doesn’t stick). My last post about a novel set in the Gothic Victorian mourning business was probably the funniest of the pile, because I am right in the middle of:

  • grief about spouse death with Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking (not to mention daughter’s grave illness)
  • Holocaust victims with Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Lost (700 pages, no less!)

I have also finished a fabulous novel about grief by Siri Hustvedt (The Sorrows of an American), that I can’t get round to review, although it IS really really good.

And of course I have not quite finished those epitome of fun:

  • civilian mass rape in Berlin at the end of WW2 with A Woman in Berlin
  • end of all civilization as Icelanders knew it in Jane Smiley’s Greenlanders
  • destruction of a home city and bloody war to get a new one in Virgil’s Aeneid

The problem is that all this very heavy reading is quite good, so I just can’t dismiss them altogether! And to make things worse, the few light books I have finished in the meantime couldn’t unfortunately measure up to the sad ones, so I’ll probably keep my reviews brief and to the point.

Anyway, don’t worry about me, I’m enjoying these books a lot (although isn’t there some better word than “enjoy”?). See you on the other side of my dark tunnel!


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