A Certain Way of Seeing the World

I like to browse used bookstores from time to time. I used to collect anything that looked interesting, but lately I’ve pulled back from that for mental health reasons. When I have the focus for it, fiction reading is very much an escapist activity for me right now, and I don’t want to be surprised by things that will make me angry, anxious or depressed. There are, however, authors whose works I will always pick up if it’s one I don’t own and haven’t read.

John Scalzi
Peter S. Beagle
Patricia A. McKillip
Jane Yolen
Neil Gaiman
Ursula K. LeGuin
Robin McKinley
Diane Duane

None of these authors are afraid to tackle difficult, painful subject matter. I don’t seek them out because I expect to avoid pain while reading their works. Those authors have made my heart ache and even brought tears to my eyes.

They have something in common, though – a way of looking at the world with open eyes without having become jaded, cynical or callous. They see the horror but also the magic in existence. Through reading what they write, it leads me to think they believe in love and hope, change and growth.

Those are things I very much need to be able to believe in, myself.

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