The lilacs are blooming weeks ahead of their usual bloom time. The rest of the garden is ahead of schedule too. That means I’m spending more time digging in the dirt and less time between the pages of a book. And when I do sit down to read, I’m either after information or I’m looking for an escape.
Apparently not everyone understands.
At the gym a few weeks ago, I got on the elliptical with a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book in hand. As I positioned the novel and fired up the machine, the woman beside me glanced over. “That’s not exactly book club material, is it?” She smiled the way condescending people sometimes do and lifted up her novel. “We’re discussing this book next week.”
Yep, book shaming is alive and well at Steve Nash Fitness World in Victoria.
I smiled back and said, “You’ll have lots to talk about. The mother gets Alzheimer’s, the father dies, and the daughter’s marriage implodes.”
Okay, I didn’t say that. But I could have. Because I read the book a while back and that’s exactly what happened. Instead I looked at the woman and said, “You’re at the wrong gym. Skinny thighed book shamers belong at the Pilates studio next door.”
Okay, I didn’t say that either. I said, “Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a very good writer and book clubs are overrated.”
I said half of that (I like book clubs). And then I turned the elliptical up to 15 and pretended the woman’s head was underneath the pedals.
These days, I don’t need to read anything depressing. For the last seven months or so, some Really Big Uglies have hit us hard, one after another, like a series of winter storms that won’t let up. So when it comes to novels, I’m happy to have a soft place to land.
Kudos to the talented authors who do such a good job writing books where the test results are always negative . . . the good guy always wins . . . couples always find their happily ever after . . . laughter is as important as breath . . . and cookies are their own food group.
Here’s what I’m reading this month:
At the gym: The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
On the Kindle: Take Off Your Pants* by Libbie Hawker
In the Kitchen: Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver
Books read to date in 2016: 28
*Hawker’s book happens to be about writing. Can you imagine book shamer’s reaction to that title?