My therapeutic post-Children's Hospital reading list has been jumping all around, because I will NOT push through anything without joy right now.
I flipped through a few pages of Michael Northrup's Trapped, but it was just too high school. I mean, that's not a criticism--it's a young adult book about being trapped in a high school during a snowstorm. Some days that's what you want, but not today.
And I read a chapter or two of Jaqueline Dolamore's Magic Under Stone, but it was just too clunky. I guess the first one wasn't exactly High Literature, but this one is starting where it ended up and so it's already a confusing jumble. I think it's also struggling with second-book syndrome, with a little less polish and a bit more of a rush to move the big story along.
Where did I land? The Buddha In the Attic, by Julie Otsuka. It's been on my list for a long time, and when I started reading the first few paragraphs, I was completely caught. It's lovely and short and a little poem. Not exactly a story, but a portrait of Japanese brides who traveled to the US in the early part of the 20th century to meet their arranged husbands. I'm really enjoying it, and after spending a week on about 250 pages that didn't even get me halfway through That Other Book, something short is most welcome.
I'm also into Hate List, by Jennifer Brown. It's another high school book, and it's not as upbeat as I expected to want. But it's actually quite intriguing--after a school shooting, the girlfriend of the dead shooter has to return to school. Is she a hero for the bullet she took pushing someone out of the way? Is she an accomplice for keeping a hate list with her boyfriend and not knowing he was going to do this? Already the characters are more real and feeling than in That Other Book, and I'm definitely caught up.
I'll either pick up China Mieville (did you know he's a dude? I was surprised!) Kraken or Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour in Glass for my other/next/further reading. They look very different, and I'm very intrigued by both. I'm feeling my way for now, treating myself gently to recover from the emotional stress. And book club chose Ann Patchett's State of Wonder for our next read, which should be good, and if not, at least won't be an endless experience in suffering like certain other recent reads.