Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Escape artists

There is a reason why sales of romance novels increase during tough times. Why the latest romantic comedy will generally do better at the Box Office than that incredibly worthy, indie release. Why Michael Buble continues to sells CDs by the truckload.

It's called escape.

When your brain is full of overwhelming images and dire predictions and doom and disaster and... all the other D words, you look for something else. Something that will allow you to push all of those D thoughts into a small compartment marked 'Do Not Think About', at least for a little while.

Today I spent some time with Maeve Binchy. Warm, funny, easy and accessible. Minding Frankie - not one of her best, I thought, but still a salve in a week where the general awfulness factor has been high on a world-scale. It could just as easily have been Cathy Kelly. Or Monica McInerney. Or Marian Keyes (for added bite). Or any of the other hundreds of stellar female authors writing contemporary women's fiction.

Another world. Where things, generally, work out.

The perfect tonic to this one.

Who's your go-to author when you need to escape?

22 comments:

  1. ADORE Marian Keyes - not just when I want to escape, but any time of day, month or year. Brilliant.
    Jennifer Fallon also fab. She's a fantasy writer so you can escape to a different world altogether. And she lives in Alice Springs, which is an interesting aside.
    Also a bit partial to Louise Bagshawe (prefer her earlier ones), Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Fay Weldon ... the list is endless, really.

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  2. I love to escape into one of Nora Roberts' romantic mysteries when life is coming at me full speed. However, when things get very overwhelming I tend to turn to familiar stories and characters. My favorite books to escape into are J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. After 9/11 I read dozens of Star Wars extended universe books because I just wanted to escape out of our world into one where good and evil were very clearly defined.

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  3. I only discovered Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes recently. Unfortunately my library is all out of them. Thanks for all the other names, ladies. I will be looking for them at the airport on Friday...

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  4. Hmm, interesting. I do not read fiction. Ever.

    Trying really hard to remember but I don't think I've ever read a fiction book as an adult other than maybe a Harry Potter.

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  5. Cynthia Voigt writes young adult fiction. i discovered her when i worked for an educational bookseller — beautifully written, thoughtful, engaging, often take the road less travelled, her characters are real and i often imagine myself as a friend, just to the left, just out of sight. my all-time favourite for those low days is "A Solitary Blue". xt

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  6. I'm most certainly a Marian Keyes fan and love a bit of Jodi Picoult in there too. She never disappoints..... Where we would be without our escape mechanisms?!

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  7. All that you listed. And am particularly fond of Barbara Trapido. And Mary Wesley. And Elizabeth Noble is another fave.

    And Dick Francis never fails to lighten my load.

    When I am sad/lonely/poorly/crook, I have a well thumbed climb into and escape book - The Shellseekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher. There is comfort and safety within.

    xx

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  8. I'm a bit partial to Monica McInerney but I don't mind anyone who is believable..so replaces my world with theirs realistically for a few hours at a time...my mind can relax 'cos at heart it really knows it doesn't have to solve anything..the book has to have a happy ending though!

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  9. I've been addicted to so many chick-litters that my hands are pink with handling so many pink book covers. I used to love Marian Keyes but her last one was definitely sub standard! Love the non-clicheed romance and funny banter of Harriet Evans who's a Brit writer.

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  10. You're right... and I love Marlena de Blasi's 'Tuscan Secrets' for that reason. I just open it to a random page and start reading... again. She takes me around the Italian countryside eating and drinking espresso as I go. A truly lovely escape... Georgie x

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  11. my escapisim is with Mary E.Pearce maybe because she did not live far from me and all the places in her books

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  12. Oh, you know me, it's cops and robbers and none of that schmalzy stuff, thank you very much. But the, who doesn't love Maeve or really any of those Irish travel brochures? x

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  13. I have every Maeve Binchy, deffinately my 'go to'! I agree not her best by far, I often pick up an old one & start re-reading it when I'm without a good book, she always allows me to escape & unwind a little..

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  14. Hi, I've just popped over from Mummy's Little Monkey's bloghop horn. Love your blog! I'm currently reading The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy - to escape ;o)

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  15. Maeve's my favourite, too! :)

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  16. Every time I get a sniffle I also get the urge to pick up an Agatha Christie. Comfort food between covers, where you might get stabbed with a letter opener but everyone will be perfectly polite about it.

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  17. Marian Keyes is definitely my go to author!

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  18. Jane Austen. Nothing really else to say!

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  19. Depending on my mood, I'll escape with Kathy Reichs, Nora Roberts, or Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum-Bounty Hunter series. Lee Weeks is also good.

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  20. Marian Keys. Tasmina Perry. I just love chicklit. In fact, I just discovered chicklitreviews.com and have been drooling over it (while I was supposed to be working!). <3

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  21. Definitely Maeve. Reading and re-reading her books is such a comfort thing for me.

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  22. Have to put in a word for Isabelle Illende. Some are amazing, some are a bit formulaic, but as you said - good for a 'go to' author!

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