Confidential to Ruthiella

When I was a kid I never understood at the end of a Dear Abby Q&A why there would sometimes be items labeled “Confidential to so-and-so”. Presumably the questions were so incendiary that only an answer could be risked in print. This isn’t really one of those situations, but Ruthiella did send me a provocative query that I now repeat here in Dear Abby form:

Confidential to “Ruthiella”: If you can’t let go, get counseling so you can fully enjoy the reality you have — instead of grieving over a 1970s teenage fantasy. Oops, that isn’t quite right. Hopefully my comments below will help you make the decision that is best for you.

Overall, I enjoyed getting the packages each month from Heywood Hill. (Click here to see the pretty packages.) And if I judge it from the point of view of whether it introduced me to books that I wouldn’t otherwise have found, it was very successful. Having said that, I feel like it peaked early for me and then produced some mixed results and kind of petered out. Oddly, they canvassed me to see if I wanted to re-up the gift subscription I gave to someone else last year, but they never tried to get me to re-enroll for myself.

The whole year in order by month with October 2017 at the bottom and September 2018 at the top.

The real hits for me were An Equal Music which I absolutely loved and Three Daughters of Eve which I really liked. I almost didn’t finish Austerlitz but I am glad I gave it a second try because I ended up finding it pretty satisfying.

Others that I enjoyed but didn’t love included My Lover’s Lover (which I hadn’t read before and ended up being my least favorite O’Farrell), Burnt Shadows, Mrs. Osmond, and First Love.

I kind of liked Thin Air. I thought I was going to like Let Go My Hand, but didn’t. And Smile I just found tedious in the extreme. I’m not a fan of Roddy Doyle.

They were right to send me Howards End is on the Landing because I should really love that book but instead I really didn’t like it when I read it about seven years ago. After that I sent them my spreadsheet of books that I have read so that they didn’t send me something I already had. They must not have checked it before they sent the Fitzgerald as my final selection because I already own it and love it.

So, a mixed bag, but I liked getting things that were new to me. If I didn’t have other reading plans for next year I probably would have re-upped.

One thought on “Confidential to Ruthiella

  1. Ruthiella November 15, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    I should have clarified I was just asking for a friend. Hee hee. Thanks Thomas! :)


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