You know, we loooooouuuuurrrrrvvvvveeee questions around here, almost as much as we love books. In fact, we’re probably going to ask you the same questions from time to time, because we want to know what you’re reading, and why. This time around, I am thinking about books as entertainment. Pleasure. Joy in the story, or genre. What you’re entertained by is subjective, no doubt, but that’s why we’re blogging and having a book club, because we want to know– what kind of books ENTERTAIN you?
I am reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie, by Alan Brady. A Life In Books just happens to have a review of this book (a kind of unfavorable review) right now, but personally, I’m liking the writing, including the “cozy mystery” and the protagonist Flavia, who is 11 and speaks and thinks like she’s 40. She reminds me Harriet The Spy combined with Harry Potter’s Hermione. Throw in Miss Marple and Bob’s your uncle. I like Sweetness. A lot.
I can see how it’s not a book for everyone. Our heroine is precocious, in love with chemistry, and is the most cognizant and stable member of her household. Her sisters are like Cinderella’s stepsisters, except that they’re not as monstrous. The real tragedy is that she is ignored by her widowed father, and like all children, everywhere, no one listens to her.
What I like is that it’s humorous. Flavia’s bike is named Gladys, and she has intrepid adventures across the English countryside bouncing along the fields, solving a murder, playing matchmaker, and providing scathingly accurate commentary on the world around her, especially concerning her two sisters. Cozy, or not, I think it’s fun, and entertaining! And, although it’s a crime novel, it’s humor and protagonist, are refreshing for me after just coming off the adrenaline-racing and intense The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson and also intense, but less gratifying In The Woods by Tana French.