It’s About the Tone of the Tome

by Lou Borgenicht

There is a unique pleasure in finishing one book and immediately choosing the next one you are going to read. That is why it is crucial to have a a stack of unread books on your shelf, books you have purchased over the past year at the King’s English. Part of the joy of finishing a book is the expectation of reading the next.

There is also the subrosa issue of the pressure to read a book that your friends, relatives or favorite bookseller (Jan in my case) have suggested that you like. A few years ago about ten people suggested I read a popular novel. (For the sake of the author and my credibility I will not mention the title). I bought it and tried to get into it several times without success.

When a friend asked me,”What do think about the fact all those people suggest you read a book which you cannot?”

I replied, with unconscious hubris, “It makes me wonder what is wrong with them.”

Since then I take anyone’s literary advice with extreme caution.

9780345543851So this month I was reading a book that “everyone loved.” A chapter or two a night without engagement. Half way through I put it down and grabbed Tess Gerritsen’s latest mystery. An internal medicine physician for about ten years she gave up medicine to write. She was also a friend of one of my medical school friends: MIchael  Palmer who wrote medical thrillers and who died unexpectedly a year ago.Tess had just been in town; unfortunately I was unable to hear her reading.

Her latest, “Die Again”, was captivating and I could not wait to read it for a few moments each night before bed. FInally I finished it yesterday afternoon, reading it consistenty for a couple of hours. I wanted to finish it before my vacation.

The next morning I awoke with both a sense of accomplishment and great expectation.
What book would I take on my vacation?

9780767913737I perused my book shelf. A paperback definitely. There sitting on top of the pile of unread books was, “River of Doubt”.

I read the first few pages and was hooked. I am looking forward to my ten day vacation in Maui. There is something comforting about reading about Teddy Roosevelt’s travails in the moist torpor of Hawaii.

Hidden moral: There is no accounting for taste. Especially with books..

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