I admit that I have quite low standards for books. Never in a million years could I write a blog like my friend Katrina because my taste is generally atrocious.
I put it all down to Sweet Valley High. And what were those other really trashy teen girl books … (Cover Girl, PS I love You, etc.) … ruined.
I think I must be just super shallow as generally all I want after a day of managing kids is a pleasant story with a happy ending … no psychopaths, rapes, grisly murder details or tragic stories about terminal illnesses or terrible childhoods, and I don’t like too much tension (if it gets too stressful I still turn to the end – you’d think I would have a bit more gumption in my 40s). I do enjoy a biography (maybe because with a biography you already know the story and are just filling in the details – and you know if they live or die). And I enjoy a romance (obviously). And I like history (always my favourite subject at uni). And relatively non-violent mystery (thanks Encyclopedia Brown and The Famous Five … and Agatha).
So, I have been loving Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books. Each one is a history lesson of Melbourne rolled into a lightweight murder mystery with a great heroine who lives her life her own interesting way. They are super!
My friend Michele introduced me to Phryne and lent me a few of the early books. And I have been reading the series on BorrowBox, the Darebin Library e-book borrowing system. What a great idea … You get to borrow books, but DON’T have to return them (in person I mean). After 2 weeks they just ‘disappear’ from your device. Last year I racked up about $60 in library fees in an accidental period of non-returning (a shock even to me) so BorrowBox really is a blessing.
Last week I reserved the very last Phryne Fisher book I had to read, ‘Murder on a Midsummer Night’. I couldn’t borrow it until today. I tell you, with the holidays looming I was hanging out.
Then, I found it – a real paper copy – in the Anglesea op shop (I really do think it could be the best). So I finished the book before my e-loan period began.
But now I feel sort of sad. How will I live without a new Phryne waiting in the wings?
I was feeling quite grown up, and smugly thinking I was setting a great example for the kids by choosing to read at night INSTEAD of watching reality TV.
Luckily the Tour is on … and a new series of ‘The Block’ is about to start …
But if anyone”s got a suggestion for me as to similarly great lightweight reading I’d be interested …