Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Between the pages

 My much-beloved reading habit had been at a total standstill for the last few months. 

With all the craziness of renovating the cottage, then packing and downsizing, not to mention setting up the new house, well...most nights I numbly scrolled through Instagram or Pinterest before passing out from the sheer physical and mental exhaustion!

But this fall, we've steadily settled into the cottage.  Many boxes have been unpacked and this house is really starting to feel like a home.  

Somewhere along the way, I realized sleeping also comes more easily when I've snuggled down with a book beforehand. (So there *is* something to all those admonitions to avoid screen time before sleeping!)

Now with the return of cooler temperatures, the sofa is a welcoming spot to curl up with a book in the evenings.

And I finally cracked open a novel for the first time in what felt like ages.  

Unlike most American girls of the 1980s, I don't think I actually read any Judy Blume classics.

Well, after reading her latest (and purportedly last) novel for adults--In the Unlikely Event--I'm going to have to check out her other famous titles. 

In the Unlikely Event transported me back to Blume's hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey and a bygone era.

From December 1951 to February 1952, three commercial passenger planes crashed in Elizabeth when Blume was just 15 years old.  Prior to this book, Blume had never written or even publicly talked about the horrific events. 

While it would be devastating for any community to experience such successive disasters, these happened at at time when air travel was just becoming more mainstream.  And suddenly planes were literally falling out of the sky in this suburb of Newark.

In the Unlikely Event fictionalizes those real events as it shares the stories of the many individuals affected by the crashes. Told from a multitude of interconnected viewpoints, the main perspectives comes by way of plucky 15-year-old Miri Ammerman and her uncle (and newspaper reporter) Henry Ammerman.

With rich details that set the the scene of the time, this story encompasses fear and loss associated with the crashes, the trials of coming of age, love in its differing phases and forms, burgeoning feminism, family secrets, and more. A cast of complex female characters made this story a particular joy to read. 

Since finishing In the Unlikely Event, I've started Brene Brown's Daring Greatly, which is non-fiction.  And Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things is on tap for tonight.  (I will often concurrently read fiction and non-fiction!) 

What books have you read lately that you've enjoyed?  

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