Is it weird I occasionally love a sad story? I used to hesitate recommending books that left a tear in my eye, thinking something must be inherently wrong with me if I sometimes enjoyed a drama or tragedy that pulled on my heartstrings.
However, over the past few years I’ve realized that these types of stories serve as a catharsis – something for me to fix my emotions on and connect with in a deep way, similar to a moving piece of art or a compelling film. Can you think of a better feeling than being completely immersed in a character’s story, whether it’s happy or sad? Although I love comedic and light hearted stories just as much, often they don’t move me or motivate me as much as stories with gravitas do. Thus, sad stories continue to reign my reading stacks!
This summer I ran through a series of serious-minded stories, and most of them were fantastic reads. Here are a few I recommmend (have your Kleenex handy):
This novel was my Alabama pick for my Make America Read Again challenge. To see the full list, click here).
Y’all ever get a case of the Sunday Scaries? This week it hit me like a Mack Truck; I’m not sure if it was because of my extra-fun Saturday spent in South Carolina, the fact that work has been extra-stressful lately, that I’ve been reading too many “dark” books lately (Charles made me promise that my next read would be “happy” after I spent several days tearing up at virtually everything, and then gave him a summary of the past five books I’ve read, all of which were about less-than-sunny subjects), or that I’m simply in summer mode, but I definitely felt some kind of way when I woke up this Sunday morning…and it wasn’t my normal chipper self but instead, moody and whiny.
Sometimes I really wish I could just be a tour guide all day every day instead of a dentist
SOOO I’m going to make this post short and sweet so I can bury my head in a good (CHEERFUL) book and pretend like I don’t have to spend all day tomorrow staring at teeth ;).
(Psst…thank you and WELCOME to all my new readers! I was incredibly nervous to share this site with family and friends, but I am so glad I did. Hope y’all enjoy!)
Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with running.
This tumultuous affair began in elementary school, where all dramas begin: P.E. class. I was never what someone would call the “athletic” type; I much preferred fulfilling my Oldest Child stereotype of bossing my classmates around and forcing them to play House or Baby-sitter’s Club or some other imaginary scenario. I usually kind of ignored whatever my elementary school coach told us to do and did my own thing, much to her chagrin.
However, there were two P.E. activities I was always pumped for: dodgeball and the Runner of the Week mile. My obsession with the first game would probably be be attributed to some sort of repressed aggression or anger issues by a psychologist, but really I think I just loved to throw things. However, my love of Runner of the Week is even more mysterious, because I usually didn’t even win.
Wherever you go, there you are. Glennon Doyle Melton
My husband and I have experienced a season of change the past couple of months. With his law school graduation, our decision to move back South after living six years in Boston, and the end of my first professional job, our usually reliable schedule has been turned upside down.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Viking Publishing for sending me an advanced galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
photo courtesy Goodreads
Y’all, this book couldn’t have come across my doorstep at a better time. Just as I was researching for my trip to Eastern Europe and immersing myself in the history of post-World War I socialism and communism, I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Amor Towles’ new novel, A Gentleman in Moscow. And guess what this tome’s plot is about? Why, the Bolsheviks and the house arrest of former aristocrats in post-WWI Russia!
I was sold merely by the title, but did my infatuation continue throughout the story?…
Although I’m not always a fan of literary trends, I do appreciate the insurgence of novels and stories about people dealing with mental health issues, whether directly or indirectly. In the past, mental health issues in novels typically have been simplified as a character being merely “crazy,” (with a few exceptions, i.e. Under the Cuckoo’s Nest). The past couple of years, however, have examined characters dealing with anxiety, depression, biploar disorder, etc with nuance and subtlety. Writers have also been more open in discussing society’s perception of mental health and psychology, which is a completely separate and fascinating direction to take a story. I didn’t strategize this, but on my Mexican vacation last week I ended up reading three titles in a row that deal with mental health or society’s view of mental health. Here’s the list:
Sometimes you pick up a book thinking it’s going to be about one thing, and then it turns out that the story is actually about a completely different journey. At times these surprise novels turn into disappointing reads, but in this case I lucked out, and it resulted in a surprising new favorite read of 2016! Let’s discuss…
I finally had my great epic Summer Read, and I have to share. This book hit me over the head with ALL THE EMOTIONS. It holds all the features of my ideal story – set in the American South and New York City, an in-depth family saga with both plot heavy and character-driven story arcs, dark mysteries, characters grappling with issues of gender, class, marriage, education, good and evil, religion…it’s all there in this book. I laughed until my stomach hurt, I ugly-cried, I gasped out loud.
Intrigued? Let’s discuss this tome, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy