Friday, April 11, 2014
Spring updates and a really good read
Good evening and a very happy spring, finally. I want to start by sharing this picture of my cat, Eddy. That is his favorite wall. He stares at it, often. I'm not sure what he senses in that wall, but maybe you all can see it.
A lot has been going on lately...working plenty, getting closer to Relay, Odyssey of the Mind State competition, and so very many books. But I specifically want to talk about books. More specifically, the book I finished today.
Anyone who knows me knows I read a lot. So many of my friends respond, when I talk books, "oh, I wish I had time to read." Honestly, I say, stop saying that. If you really wished that, you would do it. Because I'm working full time, running my kids all over the place, having a life, and I read more than your average bear. I make time for it. I don't watch much TV. I don't spend enormous amounts of time playing games on my computer. I don't have a smart phone. I don't really clean my house...
My point...I read a lot. Dude, I've read the dead Russians, and everyone knows there's nothing quite so depressing as a dead Russian. Except, maybe, a live one...ba dum dum...
No really, my Russian friends, I'm joking, I love the Russian people. But I also really love a happy ending. And today I finished one of the most charming and enjoyable books I've read in a long time (gentleman readers, you may want to stop now, I don't think you'll enjoy this book.) I adore Barbara Samuel-O'Neal. She writes under the name Barbara O'Neal and Barbara Samuel, and I love both, but today I finished The All-You-Can-Dream Buffet, by Barbara O'Neal, and I felt so bouyant of heart at the end. The stories follow four women, Lavender, Ginny, Ruby, and Val, who meet through blogging (hey!) and travel to Oregon to celebrate Lavender's 85th birthday. They are all different ages and colors and styles, and they are all lovely in their own way. I wanted to spend days with these women. They all face down their challenges and find joy and I truly would like to crawl into this book for a few months. I ended the story with happy tears in my eyes, a little melancholy that it was over.
My husband hates happy endings. He seems to think great writing only comes from pain, and all stories should end in death and despair (not that he's read a book since college.) Hence his love of the dead Russians. But I love a good happy ending. I read to escape, and I certainly don't need someone else's fictional problems. I like to fall into my stories, and let them wrap me up and make me smile.
What are your thoughts? Do you like happy endings, or do you need your books to be depressing "art?" Have you read any good books lately?