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 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.