Recently a friend of mine asked me for good book suggestions for her to recommend to her book club. I rattled off a few I had really enjoyed recently including Silent Sister and The Midwife’s Confession, both by Diane Chamberlain. Later, my friend sent me a message saying they were going with Silent Sister, but she was curious about the author writing both of the books about suicide and if that was her niche. I hadn’t really thought about that when I suggested the books and as I replied I thought about my current books I had going.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand is a book about a teenager committing suicide. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (listening to currently in my car), is about two teens who develop a friendship over their suicide attempt. I did not pick up on this theme until my friend pointed it out to me and I did not want to tell her what had just dawned on me, “apparently I am drawn to books about suicide.”
As I processed that thought, curious as to why these books may catch my attention I think I have some ideas:
1. A suicide – or untimely death of any reason, can make for good (I know the word “good” sounds terrible here) book footage. There are many ways you go with this… a false suicide (person actually still lives as it is a coverup), a murder disguised as suicide and then who did it, a true suicide where those left behind have much to sort out.
2. Puzzle solving. I like puzzles and things I have to figure out. A death synopsis opens that up for me.
3. Emotions. I do not search for book after book that will rip me up, however a book that can bring out any kind of strong emotion – fear, sorrow, love, hate… is usually a well written book.
4. Creepy curious desire of the unknown. In a suicidal book there is much to interpret. You are opening yourself up to a loss for all those involved.
Of course, my book reading does not consist of death alone (thank goodness!). I am also drawn to well developed dystopian reads, books centered around women’s friendships, food memoirs, and I hate to admit it… books about school shootings. Of course, we read all the time out of our “book crack” genres, and enjoy many other topics as well – but there are those certain topics that draw us back again and again to our
dealer. I mean… book dealer. I mean book seller.
So I am curious. What is it that draws us to the books that we read a little about or hear a little about and suddenly we MUST HAVE THAT BOOK! It has happened to us all so don’t deny it. 🙂 When a book appeals to us to the point that we order it right away, what happened? I am willing to bet it is not because we had nothing else to read.