What a concept!
As an editor, I am constantly reading – for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, contextual missteps, and story development – or lack thereof. Rarely do I treat myself with time to read for enjoyment.
Somehow, however, I managed to squeeze in a few very interesting reads, and while I still have the bad habit of thinking how I’d “improve”on the story, I was able to keep myself in check long enough to actually just read.
First up was The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Forget peanuts, cotton candy, and elephants. This circus – that suddenly appeared at midnight – and disappeared just as mysteriously, was filled with fantasy and magic, tempting us to suspend our sense of reality and delve into this wonderful-yet-frightening other world, which I willingly did. So rich with detail and descriptions, it was easy to “see” the circus and feel the excitement.
Next was Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. If I’d been at the circus before, now I was at an amusement park – in particular, a roller coaster. Written from two points of view – I thought I’d figured “IT” out, and then just as quickly, thought something entirely different. I knew the author was manipulating me – but it didn’t matter. Flynn was so clever and subtle – that not until I had finished the story (of which I cannot reveal even a morsel or it will spoil the ride for you!) did I see how easily I was led down one path and then another. I could not stop reading it; once you’re on that roller coaster, you can’t get off till it’s over.
Third was a book I’d had on my to-read list for quite a while: People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman, by Richard Lloyd Parry. The true story of the disappearance of a young British girl, a former airline stewardess who moved to Tokyo for a little adventure and to make a lot of quick money. Obviously naive, Lucie walked right into a life of despair – and eventual death. Written by a journalist who followed the entire case, it was a thorough examination of a world rarely seen by outsiders, a compelling account of two different cultures – and the pretty girl who got caught in the middle.
Though I never knew Lucie, I was quite affected when the whole story unfolded, a testament to the author.
And now I must return to “reading-for-my-job” – which, by the way, is also fun.