Greetings and welcome to the Light Therapy Edition of You Are What You Read.
The last week has been bleak and that’s for sure. The snow, the rain, the ice, the cold; it’s not for the faint of heart. But it’s nothing compared to what the poor people of Moscow experienced in December.
The good Muscovites experienced only 6 minutes of sunlight last month.
Imagine that, People.
6 minutes of sunlight. Blink and you’d miss it. Literally.
This shattered the previous record from 2000 when they enjoyed a whopping 3 hours of sun. While the average is a measly 18 hours, it just seems mean to only have 6 minutes stretched out over 31 days.
This has understandably led to some pretty depressed people skulking under the domes of Saint Basil’s. An uptick in psychiatric visits (14 %!) has been noted. The average human needs 10 minutes of sunlight a day in order to produce adequate levels of Vitamin D. 11 seconds a day isn’t going to cut it. Makes me wish I was running the GNC Moscow Branch. Vitamin D capsules, Comrade?
Roman Vilfand, the director of Russia’s weather service says that all this gloom can be attributed to warm air masses and strong winds coming in off the Atlantic that thickened the cloud cover and raised air temps 6 degrees.
So no whining this weekend People!Get out there and enjoy the above freezing temps and glimmers of sun. Be grateful for what Lemon Pig deigns to give us. If you want more on some Muscovy Misery you can read all about it at The New York Times.
This week we have a car accident, some rituals, a bit of wheedling, and an odd love story.
Let us begin!
Kaitlin from the Rock recently read Faithful, by Alice Hoffman. “I loved this book! Shelby is a teenager when she and her friend are in a car accident that Shelby is able to walk away from, but that destroys her friend's life. Shelby carries this guilt with her, and we experience it through her years of self-destruction, her escape to New York City, and her journey toward forgiving herself. The story meanders through her adventures and the people she meets (and dogs she saves), as well as her reconciliations with friends and family from her past. What I loved about this book is that, even though Shelby finds support through her new and old friends, she knows that her happiness and self-forgiveness is ultimately up to her. I found this to be a very beautiful story--I highly recommend it!”
Sweet Ann enjoyed The Story of Arthur Trulove: a Novel by Elizabeth Berg. “This is a charming, somewhat predictable, novel that will make you smile and tear up. Arthur is an older man who lives a quiet comfortable life daily rituals include a trip to the cemetery to visit his beloved wife, Nola’s grave and taking care of his cat Gordon. Maddie, a lonely eighteen- year-old, will have an encounter with Arthur that will change both of their lives. This novel follows their friendship, the concept of what constitutes a family and love that can happen in one's life if you are open to it. I will say that Arthur at first reminded me a bit like Ove, from the novel A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, but then he took on a life of his own. I enjoyed, The Story of Arthur Trulove and was a bit sad when it ended. “
Jeanne’s still doing one thing only. Puzzling. “There is no better reading than a story that has great characters with rich, colorful personalities. I found this in Tom Rachman’s, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers. As vivid as the characters are to the reader, each one seems not to know the other well. Tooly (Matilda) Zulberberg does not know who her real parents are; she does not know whom to trust and it is often the wrong person. From the beginning, we find her wheedling her way past doormen into other people’s apartments in Manhattan. Is she casing the joint? Is she just lonely? She says that she ‘once lived there.’ She travels the world looking for answers; she even chauffeurs a nine year old to after-school activities in Darien, CT. Rachman’s writing is thoughtful; full of truisms and social and historical commentary.”
The Amazing Amanda was iffy on reading The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. However, Stephanie recommended that she give it a shot. "Henry Monty Montague is one of the least likable narrators I've come across. He says awful things, ignores other people's obvious social cues and words, and is the definition of ME ME ME. You discover that there's a reason he's as heedless and self-centered as he acts, but right now, I'm finding it hard even then to like him. It's strongly hinted that Monty has recently undergone a major personality change. Otherwise, why would his charming best friend put up with him? This book has a love story at its center. I'm not sure I'll finish it, but that doesn't mean you might not enjoy a book starring a rakish bisexual lordling!"