The definition of doldrums is this: a period of inactivity, stagnation, and depression. I think a great majority of people in this country are in the doldrums, and with good reason. The coronavirus has changed our lives, and though there are optimistic projections of when the country can open up again, there are others which say the virus will return in the fall stronger then what we are experiencing now.
As long as the stay at home order is in force, we all will need to find ways to fight off the doldrums, I’m suggesting a few.
Reading is a great way to take us out of ourselves, and though libraries are closed, online sites like Powell’s and Abebooks have a huge variety of books, most of them at very low prices, and with free shipping. Our own bookshelves probably have books we haven’t read in a long time, and are worth rereading.
I belong to a book club titled READING THE CLASSICS. It’s on hold now, like everything else, and I miss the opportunity to discuss the current book with people who love reading as much as I do.
Amazon has a many books that can be accessed with Kindle, so I am going to list some fiction writers whose books I think would help the reader get out of the doldrums.
I love mysteries, so will begin with them.
Agatha Christie heads the list. She has two major protagonists, Miss Marple and Hector Poirot, and each of these characters are described so vividly that we soon begin to think of them as real people.
Ngiao Marsh is an Australian writer whose novels have compelling plots and interesting people. She was active in theatre, and so a number of books are connected to theatre and the actors in various plays.
Ruth Rendell has a unique style. Her novels border on the grotesque, which sets them apart from other mysteries.
Marjorie Allingham’s Albert Campion is a perfect rendering of a certain class of English gentleman. He is different from other protagonists because he is humble and does not put himself forward. Delightful books with well executed plots.
Major Fiction Writers
Kurt Vonnegot’s books range from the tender THANK YOU, MR. ROSEWATER to the violent SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE. Vonnegot’s novels often seem to have written by a mad man, but the distinct style, the intriguing characters, and a sense of humor that has us laughing at some of the preposterous plot lines, make his works a treat from beginning to end.
Edith Wharton’s novels are set in the late 19th century in New York and New England. She belonged to the upper class, as do her characters, and is the kind of observant writer who makes that stratified world, with all its flaws and foibles, compelling.
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