Let's get to it:
I'm not sure who recommended this, but it is brilliant, so thank you very, very much. It's The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson and I love it for the following reasons:
- I found out I am NOT a psychopath;
- it is immensely readable;
- it has enough crime/creepiness to keep you engaged without delving into so much CSI/cop talk that it's off-putting;
- the guy's writing style is excellent. It reminds me that you can write about something difficult and somewhat unpleasant and possibly dry and academic and still be engaging. That's my favorite type of writing. I mean, say what you will about Terry Eagleton and his Marxist literary criticism, he's highly readable and fun. And so is Ronson. Without the sanctimony.
"A lot of psychopaths become gatekeepers, " said Bob, "concierges, security guards, masters of their own domains."
To which I would add - THOSE FUCKING CUNTS AT THE RECEPTION DESK AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICES.
It's also good to note that I can read this book about psychopaths and craziness and not feel like I'm getting sucked down into depression and anxiety. I think this means I'm better. Yay!
I've been listening to Pride & Prejudice during my commute and it is as awesome as ever. And it reminded me that as much as I enjoyed the BBC version, the book is, as always, a gazillion times better.
And that as much as I like to think of myself as the Lizzie Bennett of my life, I'm probably more Lydia.
Or, god forbid, Mrs. Bennett.
I'm also reading Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard, which I ostensibly got for the husband for Christmas. We're actually both reading it a bit at a time. It's well-written, which most history books are not, which never ceases to surprise me because oh, my god, the things that have happened in the world! How can you not string together two sentences about the past that don't make me fall asleep? [I am here addressing every. single. historian. who ever put pen to paper. Because of course they write longhand. They are old-school.]
Anyway, the book is about James Garfield, one of those presidents I know almost nothing about except for the fact that . . . well, before I started reading this, I knew absolutely nothing about him. But now? I know more, not only about him but also about the inventions and beliefs of his time. Like Edison! And the World's Fair! And Lister, the guy who invented Listerine, and how all the doctors thought he was crazy to try and kill germs and dress wounds! Pretty cool.
I am here reminded that once, in my undergrad days, I went to talk to a history prof during office hours about who knows what [maybe just to go gab, because I am a talker], and he asked what I thought of a book we were reading about Teddy Roosevelt. And I said, "Oh, my god, that book is so dry, I have a hard time getting through it," because, cf., my resemblance to Lydia/Mrs. Bennett, and he, a kindly old man, said in a startled old man voice, "Oh, no. Really? Because a good friend of mine wrote it."
And then I died.
At bedtime, since I've run through all our Nancy Drew books, I've been re-reading Harry Potter. I'm on Order of the Phoenix now, which is a good one. Umbridge! The Weasley twins! Harry being a jackass teenager!
But, oh god, the sheer weight of this book. I am very, very seriously thinking of getting a Kindle [iPad?] because I think I crushed a rib last night holding this book up to read. I mean, I'm sure I could probably read something more lightweight, like a paperback, but how will I know what happens if I don't keep reading? I can't just rely on my memory! And dropping a Kindle on the husband as I doze off wouldn't be as satisfying in that mean spirited/loving married way.
What are you reading? What book do you use as a weapon? Have you ever insulted anyone to almost their face?