The truth is, I am very much of two minds about writing a celebration post. On the one hand, I am DEE-LIGHTED that we are able to provide books again to our Felonious Friends. We were tangled in the mother of technological snares, stuck like a sticky thing, and I was not at all sure that we could find a way out. But to paraphrase Margaret Mead, never doubt the ability of a small group of thoughtful, committed people to do extraordinary things. Which is a fancy way of saying that a bunch of folks worked hard to solve the problem, and I am extremely grateful.
And I am grateful, beyond grateful, that the planet’s nightmare of a year (which has lasted more than 12 months, in the same way that the '60s didn’t end in 1969) seems to be drawing—albeit with agonizing slowness—to a close. And I am grateful that the days are longer, that the weather is warmer, that corn and good tomatoes are right around the corner. For all these things and more I would set off fireworks.
At the same time, though, I am keenly aware that I am incredibly lucky. I didn’t lose my home. I didn’t lose my income. I didn’t lose anyone really close to me. I don’t know your personal circumstances, what losses you’ve been coping with. And I do know that people all across the world have faced and are continuing to face terrible things with respect to Covid-19. I don’t want to minimize anyone’s pain by saying YIPPEE, TIME TO THROW A PARTY!
Ultimately, I guess, the best I can say is what I find myself so often saying: Let me help you find a terrific book. If you’re happy, it will be the cherry on your sundae. And if you’re miserable, it may give you a small amount of respite. It may not be much, but it’s the best I can offer, and I am so, so glad to be able to offer it once again.
Hot Town, Summer in the City…
Ordinarily, at this time of year, I’d be writing a post about the back of my neck getting dirty and gritty* and how a book can take us somewhere to cool off. And then I’d talk about Missing, set on the icy streets of Stockholm, or Soviet Sources, set in wintry Moscow. I might even mention A Dark Dividing, promising that it would give you a chill.
But this year, and maybe for the foreseeable future, chill has lost its appeal for me. I feel as though we all spent 2020 wrapped in frosty little shrouds of isolation, and the chance to put aside that shroud is something I want to sing about. So this year, we’re not doing a summer sale that will chill you out: We’re offering deep discounts on a dozen books that are set where it is HOT, my friends. Africa hot. India hot. The hot of Istanbul. Take a pew, have a read, and remember that being sweaty means we’re alive, and that’s a good thing. And if things get too warm and sticky, I have two words for you: ICE CREAM.
There, doesn’t that feel better?
* A little too graphic? Don’t blame me, blame the Lovin’ Spoonful.