I spent much of last week at a family reunion, where I stayed in a cabin on the shores of Lake Erie. I had a wonderful holiday, but no time for pleasure reading. It gets dark very, very late in Northern Ohio. By the time the sun had dropped into the lake and the sky had cooled from orange to pink to violet to blue, and by the time my sons and their cousins had run themselves ragged catching fireflies, then begged bedtime snacks, drinks and stories, it was an impossible hour. Way, way beyond Past-Your-Bedtime. It felt like Scandinavia in summer, only with shorter people.
The cabin in which I was staying was laid out in such a way that no reasonable light could be left on for reading. I could squint at my smartphone, but the books I brought with me remained in my suitcase. That is, until the last day, when I finished one, (Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis—riveting) started another (David Mitchell’s complex and fantastical novel The Bone Clocks) and reacquainted myself with the singular pleasure of knowing I’m in the midst of a good book. Subtle and intoxicating, the sensation of something to look forward to makes me feel like a kid again, when even my impatience to return to a book just heighten the delight of reentry.
Before acquiring the galley for The Bone Clocks at BEA, I’d not read anything that Mitchell wrote, nor seen the tepidly received film adaptation of Cloud Atlas. It took me a few sections before I oriented myself to his style of interlocking stories, and a few more still before I started to see how they all fit together, but what a magnificent imagination that Mitchell has!
Now that I am back on the east coast and it’s reliably dark by 9:30, I’ve finished the book and am looking, hungrily, for another. What book have you read recently that left you longing to get back to it?