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Monday
Aug072017

A Map for the Armchair  Traveller

This afternoon I laced up my flamenco shoes and challenged myself to do some fandango footwork on the little practise floor in my basement. Doing the rythm in triple time was really difficult, but I stuck with it until it felt smooth and in time with the music. I knew if I didn't discipline myself to work past the burn I felt in my legs that I would regret giving up.

Not so with the book I started last weekend.

Although I remember being captivated by Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time, I was disappointed with The Other Side of the Sun. After about a hundred pages, I set it aside, because although I think there's virtue in completing most things, I never make myself finish a book once I lose interest. There's millions of books, and life is short - I'll never get to them all in my lifetime, so it's my firm practise to NOT feel obligated to stick with a book for the sake of saying I read it to the end.

I have never been a fan of the American Gothic, or Flannery O'Connor and the dark southern noir genre. With the themes of racism and disenfranchisement, you would think this book would appeal to me, considering my reading selections so far this summer.

No-one needs me to say what a great writer L'Engle was, but what didn't I like? The characters were constantly running out of the scene, after delivering mysterious, cryptic references which frustrated me after a while. "Oh gosh, here comes Ron again, and he'll be all moody or hostile and then ride off into the stormy night on his horse" (yes, he really does ride in and out of scenes on his trusty steed, Thale!); and then the protagonist will get accosted and assaulted by a crazy voodoo queen, but then return back to the mansion and explain her 'scratches' from having a run-in with the pet kitten. Yikes! I can only suspend my disbelief so far, and for so long...and then, THUNK (book hitting the floor).

Actually, no violence was enacted by me, ever, on a book. I promise. Instead, I hit the 'return now' button on the Hoopla app on my IPad. (And that reminds me how grateful I am for technology and the Parkland Library system that I'm able to download books so easily for the cost of a yearly membership.)

Now I've taken up The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-changing Journey Around the World. What are you reading right now? Are you an armchair traveller like me, and what would you recommend for a fussy (although I prefer to think of myself as discerning) reader?

 

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