maybe i need a vacation?

It’s summer and you are supposed to want to read crappy novels, right?  Right? Even if you aren’t headed to the beach or the pool, I am hoping that it’s still acceptable to reach for the mystery over the higher-brow fiction, right?  Right?  As validation of my recent reading selections, I am clutching to the fact that at least npr sees fit to publish a list of top crime novels on their website.  Yes, I’ll grasp at whatever literary straw I can find.

Well, looking at my list of books that I have read over the past year (and yes, I do keep a list of what I read along with what I hope are pithy reviews but actually are just embarrassing exercises due to their lack of any true value and coherence), I have noticed a few trends:

#1.  I have actually done a good job of reading selections for my book clubs although I have not necessarily  finished them on time.  Sorry, book club members.  I am trying.

#2.  There are a whole lotta mysteries on my list.

#3.  There are a whole lotta books on my list that are NOT set in the United States.

A rudimentary analysis of the 51 books that I remembered to record on my reading list in the last 12 months shows that 72% of the books that I read (discounting the ones set in the future in indeterminate locales) were set somewhere else around the globe.  The only conclusion worth drawing?  I am desperate for a true traveling vacation and reading these books is the next best possible thing.

Granted, I could probably find much more atmospheric, travel-oriented writing than the stories of Andrea Camilleri, Hakan Nesser, Marjane Satrapi, Mohammed Hanif, Stieg Larsson, or Donna Leon that I’ve been reading, but then the stories would be a chore, and frankly, after tending to two little preschoolers all day long, my brain is fried.  Melted. Worn out.  Drained.  So, I’ll take my mysteries and graphic novels and continue my little sojourns into Sweden and Sicily and Iran and pretend for a moment or two that it’s not the muggy North Carolina summer outside sucking out my energy and ambition but it’s the damp winter chill of Venice making me want to hole up inside with a fun book…

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2 Comments »

  1. Teresa Keever said

    Honestly, I am just amazed that you have been able to read that many books. I don’t feel focused enough with my 2 kiddos to read anything more than an article. Good on ya. Who cares about the genre? You are reading! That says a lot!

  2. eluet said

    Well, I’ve just given up keeping a tidy house (who are those cobwebs bothering anyway??), so I suddenly have a lot more free time on my hands!

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