Dear Ravenous Readers,
Every September it’s the same thing and I get down in the dumps. I don’t know if it’s because the school year isn’t new anymore and it’s a long way to the end of the semester. Or if it’s still 100 degrees outside and I’m done with the heat. Either way, I get a case of the blues every September. What should I read that will help me get through?
Dear Bummed Out,
I hear you on being over the heat and dealing with the blues during our lack of “fall” season. There are two ways to go with this – you can either get it all out and just read books that will make you cry or you can try and go for entirely upbeat, laugh-out-loud, forget your cares kinds of read.
Let’s start with crying, so get your box of tissues ready. A friend recommended JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You to me. Let’s say this particular friend is not known for reading romance books or for being soft and squishy, she is more of a hard-boiled mystery lover. So imagine my surprise when this love story (I guess it technically isn’t a romance because there’s not a truly happy ending) had me bawling at so many points in the story. The characters ring true, the love and emotions feel real, and frankly you will melt into a puddle after reading this story.
David Nicholls’ One Day follows the life lines of two friends with an ever changing relationship with each other. Each chapter looks at one particular day in their life, just at different years. You’ll laugh, you’ll think they are making mistakes, you’ll get mad at them, and in the end, yes, you will cry.
NPR’s StoryCorps is a fantastic project that brings together people, friends, family and has them share stories with each other. These stories are recorded and are stored in the Library of Congress and played on NPR. In addition, the library has four different collections of StoryCorps stories – All There Is, Listening Is An Act of Love, Ties That Bind, and Callings. I guarantee you will cry at some point in reading (or listening) to some of these stories.
Now you’re tired of crying and you just need to get on with things, move along and possibly even laugh or just feel good about life. For a quick read (and an even better listen since the author narrates the book), try Jack Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt. This semi-autobiographical story set in the early 1960’s in Norvelt, PA is a wacky and wild ride that frankly, I had to pull off the road when I listened to this while commuting, because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t drive. For more adult fare, try Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files series – start at the beginning because you’ll get lost in this snarky, hilarious world of the private detective Spellman family. And you’ll be glad that these folks are not part of your family. Finally, (and yes you might tear up a little but that’s ok) read John Kralik’s 365 Thank Yous. He changed his entire outlook on life once he started sincerely showing gratitude to the folks around him. This can rock your world, make you think about what you are grateful for, and knock you out of your blues.
KG for Ravenous Readers
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