When I think of reading, it seems that summer is typically a time of fiction for me. Maybe it’s just the vacation travel that sets it off, but, I find I’m ready for an escape into suspense and the world of spies. Others tend to escape more easily into history, romantic twists and turns, or adventures in some future time. I noticed when flying recently that Bourne Objective, a novel written by Eric Van Lustbader was a popular choice.
I finished with my spy novel, and needed something else. I borrowed from my friend’s library and have returned to non-fiction: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Aztar Nafisi. Nafisi is currently a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. and provides a view into the revolution in Iran (1979-81) and life throughout the Iran-Iraq war until her departure in 1997. When I mentioned reading this to co-workers they had seen the author interviewed and were familiar with the work. As a true lover of words, this one has slowed me down, wanting to savor the discussions of literature that provide relief as her known life turns into a nightmare.
Several years ago I heard author Connie May Fowler describe a truly horrible childhood and her discovery of the library, her sanctuary, where she regularly escaped her pain through the characters and plots in the books she found there.
I’m very grateful that my reading and escapes are simply for pleasure, not to make a horrible life tolerable. My life would be much less rich without books, fiction and non-fiction. I try not to live life with regrets, but, have realized that I will likely not be able to read all of the books I have interest in before I fall asleep with an open book on my chest for the last time.
What are you escaping into on these hot summer days and nights?