Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books in the Bathtub

Day 22.

One wonderful benefit to this fast has been all the long, hot baths I’ve been taking lately and all the books I’ve been able to read as a result.

I LOVE to read. But life gets in the way, and there are only so many nights you can go to bed at midnight and read until two before you need pharmaceuticals to get through the next day. (Or reading glasses. As much as I HATE to admit it, that time is inching nearer. Rapidly.)

Or maybe I just need a better reading lamp.

All this time on the cardio machines at the gym helps, too. But it’s a LOT harder to read bouncing up and down on the elliptical than it was on the old lady bike.


In the past week or two I’ve read, among other things:

P.D. James “The Private Patient” about a well-known investigative journalist who is murdered in a plastic surgery clinic outside of London. I like and respect P.D. James, but this is not one of her better ones. It started out slow and never got any better. It’ll be nice when the new Elizabeth George novel comes out. In May, I think. Hers books are incredibly tragic, incredibly gruesome murder mysteries, but she’s a phenomenal writer and one I hope to learn from. She was an English and writing teacher for years and has also written a great writing book  “Write Away” that I think is one of the best—regardless of genre.

“Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” by Fannie Flagg, she of “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.” This dragged a bit at the beginning, but is really a sweet book with a nice message. It’s been on my pile for a while: I was searching for a caramel cake recipe last spring and read somewhere that this book has a great recipe for caramel cake with caramel frosting in the back, so I bought it. It does—and a couple of other recipes that sound fun—and I’ll bake it sometime when I’m eating again.

And about half of  “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore–a really strange book about a thrift-store owner in San Francisco, but I’m still reading.

I read pretty fast—it’s very rare that I dislike a book so much that I don’t finish. I can only recall two off-hand: One was “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb, and the other was “The Lovely Bones.” Yes, I realize that I’m only one of seven people on the planet that didn’t like that one, but I don’t care. I hated it. Didn’t even finish reading it, just scanned the rest and threw it far away. Not going to the movie, either.


But back to the bathtub. There have, predictably, been some unfortunate incidents. An old Agatha Christie: “Poirot Loses a Client,” I think it was, and at least one or two other books have been the victims of accidental dippings. Only one book—a particularly thick one—actually got dropped all the way in.


I now have a new only-paperbacks-in-the-bathtub rule.

And a whole stack of books, still waiting to be read.