Alright, I admit that as a mom who stays at home and only occasionally works as a freelance writer and editor, I may struggle for emotional stability more than my peers who are connected to the world through institutional jobs.  It’s possible that the “numbing” of oneself that Brené Brown mentions in her fabulous TED talks, I do to myself with books.

Who's not affected by what they read?
Who’s not affected by what they read?

It’s also possible that I get a little too emotionally invested in the novels I read.  When a onesie like this is for sale (you can click on the picture to link to Inktastic, btw) I don’t think this is an uncommon problem.

So, the question is this.  We know the books we read are powerful enough to affect our emotional lives.  We know that our children love to hear the stories that pop into our minds at night.  Why, o why are we filling our heads with darkness, bad marriages, black magic and unhappy second chances?  Not only are we reading these books like crazy Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Seduction by MJ Rose; but, we are giving them so much more power when we give May We be Forgiven by AM Homes such fabulous awards.

Please don’t mistake this opinion for a bad review of those books.  I read them and they were wonderfully written.  Kate Atkinson is a master of Structure, MJ Rose has an unparalleled creative insight into the past, and AM Homes will have you hooked on her words in less than half a sentence.  I just find it unfortunate that the majority of books I’ve picked up this summer have main characters who just can’t seem to get to a truly happy place.  There is so much joy and pleasure in reading, somehow, it’s just not there in the stories of our characters.

Please don’t try to tell me these authors are just being realistic.  No one’s extramarital conduct, reincarnation or half hearted existential philosophy is as exciting as it appears in those books.  For my dose of reality, I’ll take the satire of George Saunders and The Honest Toddler, thanks.

Can’t wait to pick up The Elegance of the Hedgehog for a change.

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