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Bioliotherapy

I am reading Ready Player One and having a very visceral reaction to the story.  On one hand, it is making me so sad.  Like so so so sad.  Like deeply, unspeakably sad.  I know what you’re thinking right now.  You’re wondering why I don’t put the book down.  I mean, who would keep reading something that is clearly making them weepy?

Because it is also making me feel as if I’m walking into a sweatshirt-soft hug.  Like I’m being held and rocked.  I can’t stop smiling as I’m reading it.

I guess because it is reminding me of everything from childhood, and, frankly, from now since I haven’t really moved on from my childhood loves.  I still wake up early every Saturday morning to play video games.  And I listen to the same music I listened to in high school and still wear the same clothes.  So not a lot has changed.  But, you know, everything has changed.

I was reading in Mental Floss about bibliotherapy,

Patients fill out a questionnaire about their reading habits and issues they might be having, and get a prescription for something that speaks to their specific set of circumstances.

Oh yes, yes, that sounds perfect.  I mean, I don’t always go for book recommendations when the person doesn’t know my reading tastes, but I definitely believe that books get us in a different mood.  Ready Player One is a case in point.  It is changing my mood as I read it.  Bringing me down while making me unbelievably happy; like how I felt when I finally met up with other people who played interactive fiction games.  Where were these people when I was a kid playing alone?  It makes me sad I didn’t find them until now, but it makes me unbelievably happy that I found them at all.  Sort of like this book.

What was the last book that changed your mood?

Side note: Tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday.  Get writing!

11 comments

1 Jenn { 09.20.15 at 8:23 am }

I read that book last year and loved it. I am just a tad too young to really connect with a lot of the stuff mentioned but I found it interesting anyway. The book made me sad because I can see that stuff happening, the way the world is all online, and I’m not okay with me. I also would try book prescriptions. I haven’t been able to read much for fun lately and am blanking on which ones have affected me.

2 Jess { 09.20.15 at 11:32 am }

Ready Player One is on my list, and everything I hear about it makes me want to push it to the top. Another book that had this kind of reaction for me is Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt — it takes place in the 1980s in lower Westchester County and NYC, and I grew up in lower Westchester County…so it was like coming home, like revisiting all the places at the time that I remembered them. (Because you can’t go back and visit and have it be the same, it’s all changed so much.) The last book that had me incredibly sad but appreciative of the beauty of the storytelling was Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Beautiful, but oh…the loss. Probably made such an impact because of where I was at the time, but both of these books had direct lines to my heart.

3 loribeth { 09.20.15 at 11:54 am }

The two books that I can think of that I’ve read lately that left an emotional impact were “The Girl on the Train” and “They Left Us Everything,” both of which I reviewed here:

http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.ca/2015/08/summer-reading.html

“Girl on the Train” left me feeling very uneasy for awhile afterwards… the characters weren’t particularly likeable, & the infertility subplot hit a little too close to home for comfort.

I started reading “They Left Us Everything” while I was at my parents’ house this summer & found myself wondering whether it was a good choice, lol — it’s a memoir about the author going through her parents’ huge house & 50 years worth of stuff after their deaths, and what she learned about herself & her family in the process. My parents have been talking about downsizing to a condo/apartment & their house, while not as large, is still overstuffed and will be quite a chore to pare down. I bawled my eyes out at the end, but it did leave me with a good feeling overall.

4 Sarah { 09.20.15 at 1:01 pm }

Ahhh, I LOVED Ready Player One! I have read it multiple times and completely agree about ALL THE EMOTIONS tied to the story, but overall it’s just SO SO GOOD. I cannot even count how many people I have forced to read this book. I am on the waiting list at the library for Cline’s new and CANNOT WAIT.

Since we have such similar book taste, you should also try out the Red Rising series and the Throne of Glass series. Two of my favorites 🙂

5 Sarah { 09.20.15 at 1:02 pm }

I should add, those two series are solid mood changers, but in that way that is worth it because you are so invested in the story.

6 a { 09.20.15 at 3:04 pm }

I loved Ready Player One!

I just read a Jennifer Weiner book that irritated me so much that I have been telling everyone about it. It involves a racial stereotype that is so tired and worn out that I can’t respect her as an author any more. It’s called Who Do You Love. Don’t read it.

7 Twangy { 09.20.15 at 5:09 pm }

I need to think about which was the most like that for me. The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford was very rich for me. It made me feel again that strange mix of loneliness/excitement/melancholy that I associate with living away from home in NJ.

Thanks for all the suggestions; I am so stuck for a good book.

8 Middle Girl { 09.20.15 at 9:19 pm }

Truth be known I’m having a difficult time getting through books. I’m immersed in the medical billing and coding now but even before, I’ve started several in the last few years, some I’ve finished, most I have not. The last book I read that kept me from picking up another book for many weeks: “Wild”. My mother had died recently and . . . well, everything comes back to that.

9 Justine { 09.20.15 at 9:52 pm }

I’m in the middle of listening to “The Power of One.” And I don’t know if I’d call it bibliotherapy, but I’m completely rapt in the story, which by turns has made me want to throw up and left me cheering out loud. Maybe that’s what I’ve needed?

I read that article, too. Brilliant. 🙂

10 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.20.15 at 11:53 pm }

Looks like I’ll be adding to my very long reading list.

11 Amel { 09.22.15 at 4:42 am }

Jean Vanier’s Essential Writings and Befriending the Stranger.

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