In the wake of what The Onion said “could only be described by witnesses as the goddamned week to end all soul-crushing weeks,” I found myself, along with most of America, in a dark mood. The horror in Boston, the horror in Texas, the horror…well, everywhere it seemed, and nowhere to go to get away from it. Facebook? An endless loop of anger, grief, speculation, and uninformed rants. Ditto for Twitter, all of network and cable tv and pretty much everyone standing in line at Starbucks. I couldn’t wait for my bedtime reading to take me away from the insanity being parsed like Bill Clinton’s testimony on the Lewinsky affair.
Problem is, that I’m reading a downer of a book. Breasts by Florence Williams is a smart, well-written (although badly copyedited), lively discussion about our most objectified and misunderstood of body parts. Unfortunately, the book has more in common with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring than a Jackie Collins novel. Basically, Ms. Williams argues that this most intelligent and adaptive of glands is also the most vulnerable to environmental toxins and the chemical stew that we are all bathing in 24/7. Well, that was not the escapist literature I needed to take my mind off current events.
So, I eagerly accepted my son’s invitation to watch a movie with him. But, he’s currently obsessed with all things Harry Potter and wanted to watch The Goblet of Fire. You know, the one where that cute kid from Twilight dies and Voldemort is getting more and more powerful and evil. What the….
By the end of that movie, I was desperately looking around my bookshelves for the happiest, peppiest, most life affirming book I could find. Note to self, get more light reading in the house. I finally settled on Nora Ephron and David Sedaris. No, they’re not all that happy, but they reliably make me laugh and after that kind of week, humor is definitely healing.
What do you read when you feel like everything’s going to hell in a handbasket? Share your upbeat choices…puhleeeze!