Even though November is well underway, I wanted to share with you a few of the books I have been reading lately. I’ve noticed a trend in my reading toward “lighter” reading right now — both fluff fiction and fluff non-fiction. Do you agree with me that much of the non-fiction published right now is fluff? These journalistic books could be published in installments in a current women’s magazine and feel right at home. I am going to try to stop checking these books out of the library: books on “clean” eating, how exercise helps depression, and books examining the way teenagers are turning into adults: mostly just a waste of time. I end up skimming, reading portions and returning these books without gaining anything of benefit, but having wasted my hard-won reading time.
These three books, while on the lighter side, were worth a review.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Alice wakes up on the floor of the gym, having forgotten the last 10 years of her life including her three children, her best friend, and her divorce. This book was a very quick read for me. I actually couldn’t put it down, and stayed up late two nights in a row just to finish it and get on with work that should have been done. While Alice was discovering that in many ways she had made a mess of her life, I was rejoicing that I do not feel regrets over the past 10 years of my life. So many things we have begun in the last 10 years–homeschool, hiking, running — have brought me such joy and happiness. Thank goodness I don’t need to re-live those years in a “do-over.”
The Year of Learning Dangerously — Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings is one of my fluff non-fiction books. This is not a book of homeschooling how to, neither is it a book of one family’s journey in homeschooling. Instead it is a book of a journalist’s experiences traveling and observing different homeschooling occasions and events, mainly while leaving her daughter (in her first year of homeschooling) at home. I guess from the tone of the previous sentence, you realize I did not approve of this mother’s attempt at commercializing her homeschooling attempt. While many may have some sort of prurient interest in a fundamentalist Christian homeschooling convention, or a home school prom, of what benefit is it to disguise oneself, attend the event, and then write about it? I hardly believe it was for her daughter’s benefit that she did this, especially since this family is professed atheist and the daughter is in fourth grade. (I’m wrong. It’s probably for her daughter’s financial benefit.) So, this is one book I am glad I found at the library (rather than buying!)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green feeds my young adult fiction addiction. Not your standard hope-despite-cancer story, this novel follows Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters from their meeting at a cancer victim therapy session to the end of their story together. Funny and sad, its themes of quiet heroism — the kind that affects one life, not millions– and endurance were presented in an easy to read story. Eden read and enjoyed this as well.
My November reading list includes more classics, as I try to wean myself from fluff. Although I read for relaxation and enjoyment, I want to read for education as well. Even now, I am halfway through Henry James’ first novel, Ward and Watch. I’ll let you know how it goes soon.
Do you read whatever catches your eye, or do you try for book “assignments?” Please leave me a comment below.