I went to Las Vegas this weekend, which was awesome except that is not what this post is about. When I left, I was in the middle of this book, “Disconnect : the truth about cell phone radiation, what the industry has done to hide it, and how to protect your family” by Devra Davis. It’s very interesting and something I think everyone should read, (seriously, read it!! And take your cell phone away from your head. Now.), but not on vacation. Vacation is about books with glossy, colorful covers, not a black background with a picture of a phone on it. Vacation is about Stieg Larson, Jennifer Weiner, David Sedaris, maybe even Real Simple or Oprah. But in my packing frenzy, which involved limited time and multiple pairs of boots, too many peep toe heels, a flat iron I never even used, thanks to my cousin and hers being constantly plugged in and hot, and half a laundry basket full of stuff I decided not to pack at the last minute, I ran out of time to pick the perfect vacation book.
At the last minute I perused the library selections I had stacked on the coffee table. There was “The Human Stain” by Phillip Roth. Like the scary cell phone book, this is one I want to read, just not on vacation. And “Care of the Soul of Medicine” by Thomas Moore… an intriguing-ish read, although not compelling enough to keep me interested beyond the first half. And nothing about my professional life should ever intersect with the part of my life in which I wear my zebra dress, and that’s that. I was left with Augusten Bouroughs’s “A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of my Father.” The cover had a creepy looking melting red fork on it, but how dark could it be? After all, “Running with Scissors” was pretty funny, albeit somewhat depressing, and I had faith Burroughs would not disappoint.
So I was on the plane Sunday, finding myself totally disturbed by the content of this Augusten Burroughs book. It’s really heartbreaking stuff about his father’s verbal and physical abuse. I just couldn’t deal with it. It was too heavy. I had work I could do, but that’s mainly to do with chronic pain. Not the light reading I was yearning for.
Then I remembered I had my iPad. I got into the the only e-book I had downloaded, “Kiss Me, Kill Me,” by Ann Rule. This is a melange of stories about case files of murders of young women, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, some of which have been solved, many of which have not. This was a real (virtual) page turner. I was really annoyed when we began our descent into Denver and I had to power off my device. I had no choice but to sit and do absolutely nothing, with my iPad off and my tray table up.
At this point it occurred to me that I had chosen a true crime book about bloody, violent murders and sexual assaults as my preferred “light” reading while my vacation drew to a close. Yikes. Turning into my mother was one thing, but this… I don’t even know what this is.