Not Thrilled: January 2011

I'm not a great fan of thrillers. I'm too physically chicken to enjoy a series of narrow scrapes, even in print. As a mom, I spent years of devoted energy bringing little boy bodies into the world and watching them with eagle eyes through the mobile and brainless stages of development. Why would I enjoy seeing anyone risk life and limb? And clearly what many people do for fun (skiing, scuba diving, football) is evidence that the mobile and brainless stage can extend well into adulthood, especially in males.

I also don't think sex is an entertaining spectator sport. And I especially dislike torture scenes. Sexual torture scenes are the worst of all. So, you may ask, why did I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

Well, it came into the store, together with the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire. A bell rang within; someone had once asked about these books. Before the day was out, a woman purchased the second book, all the while raving about the writer, Stieg Larsson. I brought Dragon Tattoo home for Michael to try.

Michael said it was well written; much better then most of these type of books. He said it had a satisfying ending, which was rare. The book also has been on the best-seller list. A movie is in the making. So, I read it. A page-turner. I started Friday night and finished Saturday afternoon.

Did I like it?

The mystery is interesting, compelling, and fraught with graphic, yucky scenes. The protagonist is a "nice, trustworthy" guy who gets gratuitous sex wherever he goes. He has a great working relationship and occasional sex with his best friend, who just happens to be married to someone else. Everyone likes him except the bad-guys. The most interesting female in the book fights like a man, thinks like a computer and is emotionally unavailable. This may be somebody's fantasy world, but it's not mine.

There is, of course, always hope that the following two books will show redemptive growth for the various characters. Maybe.

"I haven't trusted in polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex." ~ Erma Bombeck

Given this state of (non) affairs, it is a mystery to me why so many thrillers find their way into The Word Shop. Just yesterday we got a huge box of fat Tom Clancy hardbacks. What am I going to do with those? Nick, who likes making obtuse statements by lining up books in our windows says he'll figure out something to do with them. I shudder to think what.

Why don't we get more droll British mysteries? I haven't seen a Crispen come in, ever. "The place was black with priests." How about some PD James? Josephine Tey? We have a nice stack of Grisham, but nobody ever gives us Ellis Peters. And while we're on the subject of Brits, how about CS Lewis, Chesterton, or even Muggeridge?

OK, enough complaining.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to that profound secret and mystery to every other." ~ Charles Dickens

The reason the January newsletter is coming out mid-February is not a mystery. Sales tax is due in January so I did my accounts. I always promise myself in February that I'll do them each and every month, but I never do. Hence, January is fraught with numbers. Mostly red numbers. It usually takes me a week to recover.

In between the numbers I wrote words for the Sentinel and thought words for various speeches. In between the words and numbers, I coughed.

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." ~Mark Twain

One of my more interesting experiences last fall was co-founding an Advanced Toastmaster Club designed to build a bridge between speaking within the Toastmasters Organization and speaking in the public arena. At the third meeting of the club I got voted out as President. Last night, I sat on the church steps and talked to Jesus about how I felt watching the club careen off in all sorts of directions away from the founding principle. I got the distinct impression that Jesus knew exactly how I felt; it happens to him all the time.

Alliee +