We have a term for books, TV and films that are good for you—broccoli. As in, you should consume it because it’s good for you, no matter what it tastes like.
My sons were never big broccoli eaters when they were little. Then we met George and he solved that problem by purchasing ranch dressing, which he would put out next to the broccoli, in a dipping bowl. Et, voila as they say in France (where I’ve never been served broccoli, ever, by the way).
At any rate, I avoid broccoli media because my parents went through a phase when I was little, of only letting us watch documentaries and PBS on TV. And while I admire Jacques Cousteau, to this day the sound of his voice on TV sends me screaming out of the room.
I justified this avoidance because I do a lot of heavy reading. I actually once went through a two year period where I didn’t read any fiction at all. I especially tend to indulge in the summer, losing myself in 400 page historical biographies, because long summer evenings are perfect for having the time to follow the thread.
Not this summer though. I actually had planned out my summer reading list—I was going to tackle the Hapsburgs and their dynasties. I pre-ordered several books on Amazon and at my library. I took them to the beach in June. I got about 50 pages in and stopped. Not that the Hapsburgs aren’t interesting—they’re fascinating. And the description of the battle prep between them and the Ottomans was incredible.
But it all just felt like broccoli, with no ranch dressing on the side. So instead I subsisted on a diet of detective novels—and it was great. I read thru Tana French, and every Robert Crais I could get my hands on. I re-read Lee Child and there was a spy novel in there somewhere, too. I varied my diet by dipping into some Jennifer Weiner, a book about Celts, a funny detective/murder/art history book set in 1890’s Paris, and “Windy City”, a political comedy with a bit of mystery as well.
I flew like I blew off my summer reading list, just like my sons used to do in school:)
The days are getting shorter now and it’s cooler and I’ve checked out a book about Cromwell for post-Labor Day. But between now and then, there’s one more detective novel on my bedside table. Some may think of it as empty brain calories, but trust me, ranch never tasted so good!
- webdame posted this