Alas, dear readers, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Sometimes it’s blog posts, sometimes it’s life in general and sometimes it’s books. Readers, I’ve been in a book slump lately. This is different from not having the time to read or just not being able to. I’ve been reading, but I haven’t been enjoying very much of what I’ve read. This happens to all readers, but it’s particularly frustrating when books, including the reading and recommending thereof are a significant part of what you do for work.
When things like this happen, it’s human nature to want to find someone to blame: the author for writing a provocatively titled book but instead dumping an unrelated backlist of already studied research; personal taste for finding a book that’s supposed to be a comedic classic a sad means of poking fun of mental illness; your surroundings for being too distracting to focus on this book that *gosh darn it* is supposed to be gripping and interesting.
And then you find a Book. A book that has everything in it you were looking for and everything you hoped it would be. A book that you had been anticipating, but somehow simultaneously forgot about so its appearance was a delightful surprise. For me this was that book:
I’m not going to go so far as to say this All Over the Place restored my faith in reading. (That’s a bit dramatic even for me.) Honestly, it was never my faith in reading that was shaken; it was more like my ability to choose books that I liked, a questioning of my own taste.
I’d long been a fan of DeRuiter’s blog The Everywhereist. Her particular brand of humor, snark, frankness without being judgmental and love of cupcakes is something I’ve long admired and wanted to emulate (except the love of cupcakes; that I already innately have). So I remember squealing with delight when I read a review that announced her book was coming out and immediately put in on my “to order” list. Then I promptly forgot about it until it came into the library. Then, I squealed again and immediately checked it out to myself.
I devoured this book in only a couple of days and I’m not kidding when I’m saying it was everything I hoped it would be. Rather than rehashing or only slightly editing blog posts that I’d already read, she discussed topics that were familiar, but nevertheless were original content. It felt like chatting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while; you fall back into old patterns but still have new things to discuss. I laughed out loud (a rare feat for me when reading), I was moved and, more importantly, I found I could trust my own judgement in books again. I liked a book exactly as much as I thought I would (in this case, it was a lot to live up to), and maybe even a bit more.
So now, dear readers I can go forth with my confidence in what book to read next a little less shaken, which, in turn allows me to recommend books with a little more confidence to our beloved patrons. Tell next week, dear readers, I’m off to find something new to read and eat a cupcake (or two) in celebration.