I’m declaring a state of personal emergency.
There is no good book by my bedside. Normally I have one at bat, one in the on-deck circle, more in the dugout, extras in the bullpen, and others coming up through the minor league. But my pipeline has run dry, and I need your help.
It all began in childhood, when my mom read to my big brothers and me every night. The Blueberry Pie Elf. The Borrowers. Charlotte’s Web. The Lonely Doll (a future blog post all by itself). These night-time sessions are among my most cherished memories.
Elementary school teachers read aloud to us after lunch recess. In sixth grade, we girls loved A Wrinkle in Time, but the boys rebelled and demanded a “boy book,” so then Mrs. Vaught read 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was the book during which all the girls took up crocheting.
From the moment I learned to read, a good book has been my constant companion. First I read the sweet innocent classics of my mom’s youth: Anne of Green Gables. The Boxcar Children. Little House on the Big Prairie. Hitty.
Comic books were a huge obsession. Then I branched out and started reading more frightening or salacious fare from our local library and paperbacks handed over by friends. Confessions of a Prom Queen. Helter Skelter. In Cold Blood. The Boston Strangler. The Diary of Anne Frank.
In recent weeks I’ve re-discovered A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and its touching, hilarious accounts of a Brooklyn girlhood. On the heels of that, I read The Book Thief, which was dark but beautifully compelling.
Since then, I’ve been like Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ library. Saints and Liars didn’t have enough detail. The Executioner’s Song has too much detail. A Mercy has just enough detail, and it’s beautiful, but it’s shrouded in fog. I’m having to grope my way through.
And so I turn to you, MOB readers. Please, I beg of you, send me your suggestions for a good book. I don’t care if I’ve read it before, re-reading can be an excellent diversion. Just tell me what you’ve loved. Fiction, nonfiction, any genre goes.
I look forward to compiling a list of your excellent adventures in reading. And while we’re at it, let’s suggest that Emily pick up a new edition of What To Expect When You’re Expecting.