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Does the book you are reading affect your mood?

(14 Posts)
Carrotsandcelery Fri 12-Aug-11 11:08:31

I am currently reading "The World According To Garp" by John Irving and it is really sad.

I find it has affected my whole mood and the way I am interacting with my dcs.

Before that I read "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood and it, too, affected my mood but not in the same way.

Is it just me or do a lot of keen readers experience this?

What is a good book for feeling happy and breezing through life? hmm

Madmammy12 Fri 12-Aug-11 11:27:10

Hi Carrotsand celery, yeah i find this too, I'm reading my sisters keeper at the moment, given to me by a friend who told me it wasnt sad but well written, and I am sooo sad reading it, my mood just feels so glum and I really think it is the book....i read eat, pray, love before that and the author was talking about all the lovely food she ate in Rome, and I swear everytime I sat down to read it I had to have something to nibble on hahaha...a happy breezy book (which isnt that kind of crappy chick lit) I found LOVE by Toni Morrison good, was very funny in parts....have to say though think I'm drawn to the miserable in books...the next book I have lined up is The Radleys by Mat Heig so I'm hoping that might lighten things up a bit (even though it is about vampires!!!)


Carrotsandcelery Sat 13-Aug-11 15:04:07

Hi Madmammy - I am glad I am not alone although not glad you are feeling a bit glum too. I tend to be drawn to the more serious and thought provoking books too so it doesn't help.

I think I will have a look at LOVE to cheer myself up when the kids go back to school.

Thank you!

Michiem Sun 14-Aug-11 09:18:27

Mis lit started being published when I was pregnant and DH banned me from reading them as I got to the point when even he wasn't going to be left alone with the baby when she was born! Now discovered Martina Cole, dare people to cut me up at Tescos, think I'll beat them to an inch of their lives with a can of sweetcorn! More easily influenced by books than by tv&films smile

Michiem Sun 14-Aug-11 09:19:52

Sorry forgot to add,a good book to counteract - Elmer! Works every time grin

PrettyCandles Sun 14-Aug-11 09:46:28

I loved Frangipani. It isn't a completely happy book, but gave me such an uplift, and the very last line sums up how I want to feel.

Two books that I have returned to over and over again are The Hotel New Hampshire and The Cancer Ward. Whether I re-read from scratch, or just dip in and out, there is always something to fit my mood, or uplift my mood. People think I'm weird to find The Cancer Ward a happy book, but there is happiness and joy in it, and the positive bits are very life-affirming.

Carrotsandcelery Sun 14-Aug-11 14:58:09

It is interesting - I am not affected by films long term very often but I am by books.

I have finally finished "Garp" and started on "Perks of Being a Wallflower" as I had that already in my "to read" pile so it was easy to grab at 1.30 this morning (neighbours were having a noisy party grin) and it seems to be cheering me up so far.

The very title "The Cancer Ward" is enough to put me off Pretty - it sounds grim tbh. I will have a look at "Frangipani" and "Elmer" though. Is "The Hotel New Hampshire" really happy or happy in the way that Cancer ward is Pretty <suspicious>

Carrotsandcelery Sun 14-Aug-11 17:57:13

D'oh! Just been tidying the dcs book shelves and picked up Elmer (the elephant) blush blush blush

PrettyCandles Sun 14-Aug-11 20:15:43

TCW is a Russian classic, by Solzhenitsyn, so I've only read it in translation. I think the translation has an effect, because you are already reading it via another reader's interpretation. I did not realise this until I wore out my copy and bought a replacement, which lacked the undercurrent of joy. The second translation was much closer to the conventional view, that TCW is about injustice and fatalistic acceptance of the impoverishment caused by evil, whereas from the first translation I got a strong sense of hope, and the belief that what you choose to do counts, even under the evil of injustice, and that richness can be found despite the impoverishment caused by evil.

I don't know quite what it is about HNH. I've never got through any of his other books, they just did not 'speak' to me in the same way. I think that there's the same thread of what you choose to do counts.

Must re-visit smile

Raffaela Barker (IIRC) Hen's Teeth, Summertime, and I think there's a third book. Definitely chik-lit, but happy and funny and nice, and I think I'd quite like to be her. The heroine, that is.

CheerfulYank Sun 14-Aug-11 20:21:41

I remember reading the book "Finn" (a reworking of the Huck Finn story) and being so depressed I could barely function. Was hugely pregnant at the time, though!

Carrotsandcelery Sun 14-Aug-11 20:41:05

I did Solzhenitsyn at University and distinctly remember reading him in a freezing cold, damp, grotty flat. It didn't take me to my happy place I have to say. grin

PrettyCandles Sun 14-Aug-11 21:49:11


I remember re-reading One Day In The Life when I was about 15, deliberately sitting out on a brick wall without a coat in -a- -typically- -mild- -British- winter, trying to capture the terrible cold he describes. What I caught was a great sense of the privilege and safety of my home and life.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 15-Aug-11 14:47:06

It was "One day..." Pretty I couldn't really remember it - just the sense of incredible cold!

I finished "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" this morning in the bath <bliss emoticon> and it has cheered me up a lot, even though it deals with some fairly harrowing issues itself.

What next though? I have a great big pile but our schools go back tomorrow so it will be back to cleaning, scrubbing, ironing and running around picking up and dropping off and waiting everywhere!

PrettyCandles Mon 15-Aug-11 17:47:09

I think my emotions are more influenced by books when I am already emotionally vulnerable, during bad times in particular. But the good thing about that is that they can be uplifted as well as lowered.

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