Sometimes, very much the opposite!
Alam, Rumaan- Leave the World Behind
Lockwood, Patricia- No One Is Talking About This
I recently pulled my used library copy of Leave the World Behind off the shelf because I wanted to read it before the movie is on TV. I only knew the most basic premise: a family rents a house, and soon after they've begun their vacation, the home's owners show up, needing to stay. That's all I had going in. Then it starts out slow and lulls you in, pages and pages about getting the family to their vacation rental and not having a signal for their phones and getting food, etc.
I didn't know what the thing was that was going to happen, and SPOILERS it's basically the end of the world. It's a very good book- gripping, thought-provoking- but man! I'm starting to think the kids are right about trigger warnings. And once the bad stuff starts happening, YOU CAN'T STOP READING IT!
Don't get me wrong, it's really good and I recommend it, but if you read this first, you'll be prepared. Have a recovery plan in place. Have a journal and a blanket and some snacks ready. Have an easy book on hand to read afterwards.
I can't believe that this book came out in Year 1 of Covid. I'm surprised that people didn't think he was a witch and try to burn him. I'd have lost my whole mind if I'd read this book in 2020.
It's the kind of book that you reel away from in the end, gaping around at the room to make sure you're really home, realizing that your mouth is open. Which is awesome, but you need a pick-me-up after, and it's hard to go directly from a book like Leave the World Behind to something else. So, I decided to find something to watch on Netflix.
I'm thinking about giving up on Netflix. I feel like I spend thirty minutes looking for something to watch and then ditch it after five minutes. But recently, they'd put the moving Downsizing back in, and I'd always wanted to watch that, THINKING IT WOULD BE FUNNY. Kristin Wigg is in it! I'd thought that the trailer looked so good way back when it was a new movie. And, it was good, but not a lighthearted comedy. Because guess what shows up? The end of the freaking world! AGAIN!
It was weird and unsettling. But, again, I would recommend it.
Something else that caught me off-guard a few months earlier was No One Is Talking About This. This book made me cry. I went into it not knowing what to expect. When it was new, I had an idea that it was sci-fi- it's about something called "the portal" and it has a big shiny ring on the cover. I remembered that it was pretty popular when it came out and I'd read some good reviews. Well, it's not sci-fi. And the portal is the internet. I almost quit the book because the narrator seemed so vapid. She was internet famous. Like, it's her job. She goes around and gives talks about The Discourse and is always working on the next stunt or joke. I probably would've dropped it but I was thinking alot at the time about quitting Twitter (or whatever we're supposed to call it) so this book felt well-timed. Then it takes a turn in the second half and the narrator has to focus on her IRL and have real feelings. And it made me cry! I recommend it. It's super weird, but I like weird.
So, I guess I could take a lesson from this: I go into books and movies blind and get gob-smacked, so maybe I need to read up on the reviews and pay more attention. I will probably not do that.
Here's what helped:
I've been reading a bit of The Fellowship of the Ring, since it's one of my comfort books. Yeah, there's a war and a Dark Tower, and the Enemy, but there's a long stretch at the beginning of this book that's mostly hobbits, and I find them very soothing.
Also, I watched Mickey's Christmas Carol. I used to try very hard to avoid Christmas movies and music until after Thanksgiving, but the last few years have been HARD and there is so little that would make me feel better and that I could afford. So, early Christmas! I was completely exhausted and in a terrible mood one day last week and realized later that it was the beginning of Covid, so I finally had my turn with the plague. yay....
(This is not from Mickey's Christmas Carol, but from the bonus content. The cartoon with Chip and Dale is also very good.)
It's been more than a week since i finished Leave the World Behind now and I've pretty nearly recovered. I've decided to keep my copy because I think I'll want to read it again someday.
Please drop any recommendations for recovery books/movies in the comments. Please!