Have you ever read like, 5 books in a row that just sucked, to the point where you felt like you might have to just chuck your TBR list, and then had a hidden gem hit you like a ton of bricks?
Or, instead, have you at one time or another felt like a book that you chose was written personally for you at this very moment in time to find and pick up?
Oh yes friends. Today we’re going to talk about Book Karma.
Now, I’m not usually one for the superstitious, and I’m staying right out of that conversation. But since sometimes life kicks you 100 times and then “owes you one”, it seems that once in a while, books do the same thing. As do they periodically “find you” when you need them the most.
Happenstance #1: The Book Boon
Recently, I had a job change, an international physical move, and a breakup – all in the same month span. You want a pile of lemons? I’m stockpiling. But, you may recall from a previous article that I wrote, that I was having a knock-down, drag-out literary catastrophe of a year as well, and wrote an article on Book Burnout as a result. Guess what, my lovelies? The bookish gods granted me a boon. Yes, I got Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, which prompted me to write a review that basically just pushes the book harder than a back-alley drug sale at gunpoint. #notoverthatbookyet #robinsloanisagenius
Basically, what I’m saying is the equivalent of kissing frogs to get to a Prince. And guys, while not all my reads have been frogs this year, there have certainly been some amphibious features. I’m looking at you Claire North (84k was such a disappointment – but go read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August OR The Sudden Appearance of Hope for sure!) So now, I’m actually legitimately excited to get back to reading some of the more difficult to tackle books on my TBR, rather than crossing my fingers blindly each time one of my library holds comes up for me to borrow. Another bonus to getting a “needle in a haystack” hit on a perfect summer read? My Goodreads Challenge is now 2 books ahead, where I was barely managing to stay on track before.
Happenstance #2: The Coincidence of the “Needed Novel”
Last year, I reviewed a book for TLC Book Tours that took my breath away. The Marzipan Fruit Basket got 4 stars from me on Goodreads, but I feel like I should go back and change it to 5 stars, because it left a mark on me and I’ve not forgotten some of the short stories within it to this day. It restarted how I felt about an old friendship, it was perfectly Remembrance Day appropriate, and just kind of jumper cabled my heart a little bit. To me, this is another way that Book Karma has presented itself in my life.
Similarly, Rachel Joyce’s The Music Shop came into my life this month. The novel’s premise is that the record-loyal music shop owner is a music savant. Frank carefully curates selections for his customers based on what they need to hear. Along the way, he inspires a new generation of record lovers, which is much needed as the English town begins to slump into the Depression. While the book for me wasn’t perfect, it did remind me that another passion in my life is music. And honestly, with the turmoil in my life, it has been finding old songs that I used to cherish that have helped with some of this healing. So really Ms. Joyce, I owe you one for re-inspiring me in both my bookish and musical life.
Recommendations (and Tell LQ Yours!)
I can think of many books and authors that I have stumbled across at just the right place and time. I can’t list them all, but I CAN (and will!) provide a VERY short list below. And it’s not just books – I get this with songs, books, and sometimes movies or other media. Please tell me in the comments, have you got Book Karma in your life?
- Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
- The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3) by Philip Pullman
I love this. I really feel like my book karma changed when I stopped reading books that “everyone must read.” 9 times out of 10 I’ve hated the books that have been recommended in every magazine I get, so I stopped bothering. Life is too short to read bad books! And I will quit a book really fast if I’m not engaged after the first few chapters.
But for this year in particular, two books changed my life, and I actually just purchased the actual books (I’m a die-hard kindle user).
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I have no shame, I judge books by their cover. This was my first book by these two ladies, and now I’ve read everything they’ve written. While the book isn’t perfect (almost everything after the trip will probably get skipped/skimmed in my re-reads) but I absolutely loved the snark of this story. And it really made me want to read more romances, which I hadn’t read in years, and now it’s all I read. Smut fan for life!
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Almost Famous is my absolute favorite movie, and if I’m not engrossed in a book I’m searching Spotify for the perfect soundtrack for my day. I love music, and I love the story behind the music. Toss in the Fleetwood Mac vibes and I was all over this book. I thought about it for weeks after I finished it, and legit considered getting my favorite quote tattooed on my back. I LOVE this book. I don’t even care if the planned mini-series sucks, I will watch it half a dozen times within a month of its release!
Both of these books meant a lot to me personally, and in ways that I can’t even put into words. I love when that happens! And since reading them I feel like I can’t get enough. I told my boyfriend I want to quit my job and become a stay-at-home reader!!