It was going so well, until it wasn’t.
This is NOT an email about me not liking a book. On the contrary. I like the book! It’s interesting. It’s engrossing and well written and by an author I like and I like the people and I want to know what will happen.
I just don’t exactly want to actually read the book, and I’m trying to figure out why.
I’m a fast reader. By October 11 I’d already finished five books (Acts of Violet, The Witches of Bone Hill, In Charm’s Way, Shadow and Bone and Assistant to the Villain, although I started that in September). And then suddenly, boom: I stalled. I could blame it on circumstance, family visiting, lots of driving and doing and working and various stresses, but that usually makes me read more, not less. Not this time. There it sat, bookmark tucked about a third of the way in.
No, I think I need to face it: the problem is the book. It’s the wrong book for me now. Now is a trying time at home, and a particularly trying time in the world. For some people, that’s exactly when a complex book that offers a little bit of a challenge and zero promise of a “happy ending” is just the ticket. For me, it’s a time for book bon bons, for fun and laughter and the promise of satisfaction in the form of mysteries solved, villains vanquished (if they deserve vanquishing) and couples united.
Which means Alix Harrow’s Starling House is just going to have to go on hold.
I’ll come back to it! I loved The Once and Future Witches, A Spindle Splintered and The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I’m absolutely in for this fantastic and fantastical story of a house that I suspect isn’t exactly haunted, its guardian and the—additional guardian? possible mate?—that the house seems to have marked as its own. Just maybe later, when I’m feeling more settled in my self and therefore more able to be unsettled in a book.
But fear not—I can’t not read, so I’ve been making solid inroads on Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, my friend Jennie Nash’s very fave book on that topic. I like it, it’s giving all kinds of different takes on the topic, mostly music and movement oriented which is definitely a leap for me (see what I did there) but I won’t be dethroning my fave, Big Magic, any time soon. And I’ve occasionally fallen back on what I call my “phone book’“ which is the book I keep going to keep me off Instagram et al. Right now it’s Kate Clayborn’s Beginner’s Luck—and I’ve never read a Kate Clayborn I didn’t like, so consider that a universal recommendation!
If you, like me, need a current read that’s both joyful and distracting (which means it also has to be goooooood), some thoughts: The Guncle and A Star is Bored are both locks. Christina Lauren’s The True Love Experiment is among her best and a delight for romance readers and The Bachelor watchers alike. The Murder of Mr. Wickham couldn’t possibly be more fun. Ditto The Road to Roswell.
And now that I’ve decided to set my current book aside, it’s time to strike out anew. Which of these would you read next?—or reply to this email with suitable recs for my mood!
I write what I like to read, so if you haven’t read Playing the Witch Card yet, I do think it would scratch this same itch, especially if you want a read with serious #fallvibes. The Chicken Sisters or In Her Boots also hit that Kindle, Take Me Away note.
And if you HAVE read Playing the Witch Card, stay tuned! There’s an epilogue tucked away on my laptop that I’m about to share.
That’s it for me this week!