And my next book report is: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Only halfway through it, but it’s fulfilling almost all the criteria I laid out yesterday— memorable characters, a plot that entices me back, good writing and for the humanistic touch, this gem of a couple of paragraphs (slightly revised here) offering an alternative to religion:
“Why do so many people believe in texts written thousands of years ago? And why does it seem the more supernatural, unprovable, improbable and ancient the source of these texts, the more people believe them? And then have the audacity to insist others believe them too.
What’s wrong with believing in ourselves? And if stories must be used, why not rely on a fable or a fairy tale? Aren’t they just as valid a vehicle for teaching morality? Except maybe better? Because no one has to pretend that they’re true. No one has to pray to Snow White or fear the wrath of Rumpelstiltskin to understand the message. The stories are short, memorable and cover all the bases of love, pride, folly and forgiveness. The rules are bite-sized: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t hurt other people or animals. Share what you have with others less fortunate. In other words, be nice.”
To which I say, “Amen!” Or rather “And they lived happily ever after.”