I continued that theme in April and it's working for me.
I began with a few light romances. K Leigh and Ashley Cade are authors I befriended on Instagram. It was a great escape to lose myself with characters in danger of having their hearts broken instead of worrying about paying their bills or avoiding illness.
Something That Could Last is a world's collide kind of story, about a young man and woman from very different backgrounds finding ones another. Four Day Prince Charming is an older woman-younger man romance with a save-the-world theme I really loved. One Week Queen is a hate-into-love story with dogs! (He's a veterinarian). All three were short, sweet, and distracting. Just exactly what I needed and wanted.
The Annotated Alice and Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. I confess though that I wouldn't have read either of those this month were it not that I had committed to do so for my First Monday Classics Book Club, which I help run for my local library.
You might think the giddy silly attitude of Alice in Wonderland would have been perfect escapism, but it didn't jibe with my mood at all. Then again, I've never been that fond of Alice. There's not enough story to her story, and the humor is so self-congratulatory in its cleverness that it doesn't make me laugh. Not my cup of tea, with or without dormouse.
In contrast, An American Tragedy worked pretty well for me. While the story certainly goes dark enough to earn its dire title, the story is not relentlessly sad. In fact, the ending is all the more effective because so much of the book is about hope and ambition and striving for something more. Even though I feel the book is flawed, I can see how it has earned its place in the canon of great works, and I'm glad I finally read it.
I can't entirely say I *enjoyed* Dreiser's classic tome, but I did stay engaged with it, and I'm still thinking about it several days after finishing reading it, trying to decide exactly how I feel about it. I even sought out the 1950s movie adaptation, A Place in the Sun.
I don't think I would have stuck with it if I were reading it in paper or on Kindle though. I listened to it as an audiobook over the course of six weeks, in 10-20 minute increments while I cooked or took care of household tasks. It wasn't the kind of book wanted to sit down and devour.
For both these longer works, I was happy to get off screen. Now that I'm teaching from home, I feel like I'm on screen time 20 of every 24 hours--for the day job, for fun, and for writing. I was glad to read Alice on paper and Dreiser by listening.
That might be why my next five reads were all short and why I read them in paper editions.
Dreadful Penny and Unsettled Spirits by J. Matthew Saunders, and two graphic novels: The Sixth Gun: Book 1: Cold Dead Fingers and The Sixth Gun: Book 2: The Crossroads by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, and Bill Crabree.
Interestingly, these also all came to me via family members. My sister lent me Dreadful Penny and Unsettled Spirits, having purchased it at a convention sometime last year where Matthew and I were both convention guests, as well as sharing Raven. My husband suggested The Sixth Gun series.
All were violent, but non-realistic, with magical elements and interesting heroes. I read all of them sitting on a swing in my yard, in the sunshine, too. Quite a contrast to the content. (I must have really liked The Sixth Gun, because I immediately ordered Book 3. Looking forward to reading it when it arrives!)
I finish the month in the middle of three more books, but I'll tell you about them in May. I'm about 1/3 of the way through Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea on audio book, 3/4 of the way through Bill Blume's Gidion's Hunt on paper, and just started The Reckoning: A Time Travel Thriller by DM Taylor on Kindle.
How is your reading life going?
I'm also excited to announce that you can get the next in the series on May 7, 2020! The Good Will Tour fits in the Menopausal Superhero universe right after book 3, Face the Change, but can be enjoyed as. stand alone story as well.