Timing is Everything
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Cindy: There are times when life’s events make for great reading. I’ve posted here about selecting fiction books set in places where I am traveling, like when I read Turtle in Paradise while I was on spring break in Florida a few years ago. But, there are other times when the coincidences are troubling…even painful. I was recently assigned Regine’s Book: A Dying Girl’s Last Words by Regine Stokke to review for Booklist. I had just started to read it when I learned that my college roommate was in her final days of her battle with pancreatic cancer. I followed online care pages every night while reading Regine’s moving blog entries from her battle with leukemia. I had to take a short break from the book for my own sake, but deadlines loom when you write 3 blog posts a week plus review on the side and read for your day job. So…I picked up the next book in the blog schedule (I’m always reading for the next deadline it seems) and it was Invincible Microbe by Jim Murphy, which we blogged on Monday. Great. Tuberculosis….kids dying in sanatoriums. That’ll cheer me right up. (Nevermind that Lynn has been waiting for months for me to read this book).
With that deadline past, I still needed some space to resume the dying girl’s review book and so I moved on to another blog book. I needed a funny book. I grabbed one Lynn has been recommending: Croak! by Gina Damico. But while I read about this girl who goes to spend the summer with Uncle Mort who is training her to be a grim reaper, I realize that while it is funny and well written, it is perhaps not the book I needed. When she is at the bedside of aging cancer patients I am unable to stop thinking about a close friend who is caring for his mother in her final stages of uterine cancer. So, folks. I need pure fun escapist reading to move to the top of the to read pile. Suggestions? And please, NO bloated dystopian recommendations. I am sick to death of those!
P.S. I’d also love to hear about a time that you HAD to read a book at the worst possible time.