I’ve been on vacation for almost five days now. The first day doesn’t really count because I was on the move the whole time and then I was drinking absurdly strong coconutty fruity rum drinks and could barely stand let alone focus my eyes on a page, but since then, I’ve read a book a day.
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich – a little Ranger, a little Joe, not enough of either. The usual.
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner – hugely likable protagonist, as ever. Deft prose, just when you think it’s going to be a little too pat or cliched, it’s not, plus the “best friend” character reminded me so much of one of my best friends from high school (if she’d zigged instead of zagged) that I was constantly having a kind of deja vu – except that I’d never done any of it before so it was like deja woulda vu’ed if any of it had happened to me. Whatever. It’s a great book.
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs – billed to be a Patricia Cornwell kind of deal, Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, which means she knows bones and looks at a lot of dead people and things to figure out what happened to them. This book is the first of a series featuring a…wait for it…forensic anthropologist (write what you know, I guess) who solves crimes and gets involves in the investigations when she’s really only supposed to be examining remains. The story was good – creepy and macabre and a sufficiently interesting serial killer mystery. But oh my great googly moogly, the butchering of language that went on in here was far more heinous a crime than the dismembering of victims accomplished by the serial killer. Reichs has a problem for which there is, alas, no 12 step group. She’s got a simile addiction. And hand to god, I’m using her similes as a lesson and maybe even a bad simile writing contest next year in class. Get a load of some of these doozies:
“He squinted as though reading the fine print on a rebate coupon.”
“Driving home, I turned on the radio, bent on herding my thoughts, the way a shepherd tends his flock…”
“The place looked as if it hadn’t been renovated since Alaska applied for U.S. statehood.”
“…the exposed wires looped around themselves like worms in a bait carton.”
“My heart sounded like a ping pong ball in play.”
And it’s not just that the similes are so bizarre and clumsy, it’s that they are constant; they come at you like an onslaught, like the troops storming the beach at Normandy, wave after wave of soldiers, breaching the shores, only to meet with certain, bloody, death.
(Even when I tried, I couldn’t make my simile as bad as some of hers.)
Today I read My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler. In between nearly peeing myself laughing and marveling at her ability to make her father’s racism and her description of her desire to rub the tummy of a midget before she took him home and saw him naked (it was like a boa constrictor!!) totally unoffensive and actually sort of endearing, I mentally kicked myself for choosing a profession that prohibits my ever writing a book just like this. Not that I could ever come up with a collection of essays about one night stands. I have two kids, which means, you know. Twice. Of course. But still. Moving along. Nothing to see here…
Handler’s show makes me uncomfortable to watch, and I can’t quit explain why because Tosh.0 which is arguably one of the most offensive shows on television today (other than The Bachelor, obviously) is my favorite thing to watch in the history of the universe. Nevertheless, I loved loved loved this book and will absolutely read her others. She makes me wish I were 25 and had no conscience.
Tomorrow is our last full day here, so I’m not really sure how much reading I’ll be getting done. I’ve got a lot of snorkeling, sunning, swimming, and rum swilling to do before I’m finished with Staniel Cay.