These days I prefer the real life stories.
For some reason, in my adulthood, I’ve had a hard time getting into fiction. If it doesn’t grab me in the first two or three pages I’m done. There are exceptions to this, but typically, if I’m gonna read fiction then it’s a book I fell in love with as a kid for its fun and adventure. The heart is awfully hard to retrain.
The fiction choice I’ve recently given a chance is called The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. I found it while checking out the local Goodwill stores in my latest search for buried fifty-cent read alouds. I totally judged the book by it’s cover, being first attracted to the title, and then the back page description:
“Brilliantly attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated–and, through Mick Kelly (the book’s heroine), to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.”
I finished the first chapter. The second one, though, did not go as well. I read half of chapter two and had no idea what I read. Besides grammar, reading comprehension was my worst subject, at least according to my standardized test results in elementary school. I can tell I am reading words but nothing is computing.
So I put the book down and came inside. Sometimes you simply need to step away and try again later whether it’s a book, a marriage dispute, or a wrinkly old laundry pile. Chances are when you come back to it, assuming you do come back, for coming back is the requisite of stepping away, you’ll be able to see with fresh forgiving eyes.
I think that’s what makes real life so interesting.