I want to be smarter, more intelligent. How can I do that? Read more, hang out with smart people? Do crossword puzzles? Take classes. I am horrible at crossword puzzles, Vivian is really good. Ron, Vivian and my Dad and Ellen are probably the smartest people I know, oh, and David Zicarelli.
I’m trying. It’s kind of hard to give up my appetite for fashion magazines and celebrity gossip. My knowledge of celebrity gossip is unrivaled among most anyone I know outside of LA but that’s not something I’m proud of. Ron is constantly amazed (or disgusted) when we are watching TV and I know the star's love life status. Do I really care or is it a diversion from the evil in the real news or just readily accessible?
One reason that I’m writing about my reading habits here is that I read a lot of fiction but I don’t feel that I retain much because I read so fast. I think I read fast because I’m enjoying the story so much and want to find out what happens. For several years I read nothing but mysteries but I stopped because I was so tired of murders and violence. I think those books increased my reading speed. Several years ago I made an effort I started reading actual literature and even books that I would have considered too heavy or sad in the past and I’m really enjoying it.
I gave in to lightweight mysteries a few weeks ago when I was sick. Mysteries are great when you are sick or on airplanes. I read almost exclusively female amateur sleuths that have another vocation. I read a ‘coffee house’ mystery, a ‘tea shop’ mystery, a ‘herb shop’ mystery and a Sue Grafton on the plane. The food genre mysteries all include recipes. I like the recipes. I actually save the tea shop ones because I fantasize about opening a tea shop. But going back to these books after so long, they aren’t very well written and they are soo formula. Most of the heroines have dropped out of a high powered career to move to a small town and start their food business. There’s one series about a caterer with lots of recipes but they are mostly sweets. I wish someone would write a vegan series.
I have a fantasy mystery that I want to write. My sleuth is a real person, Sylvia Pagolli, the NPR correspondent in Rome and parts of the former Yugoslavia. She is such a captivating personality on the radio, I think she would be really interesting and curious as a reporter. I love the way she signs off, “this is Sylvia Pagolli in Rome.” In my book she would get caught up and solve international capers while wearing Prada.
I just started reading The Historian which I’m enjoying (thanks Viv). It’s one of those historic mysteries that are very popular right now because of the Da Vinci Code. I refused to read the Da Vinci code because it was so popular and my parents were gaga over it. Ron and I did actually see the film because of having time to kill in a certain neighborhood and it being the only thing available. What a bore, and Tom Hanks is one of my if not THE least favorite actor.