Wrapped Up In Books

Good day! This is Teddy speaking. How are you guys? At the moment (we POTS people tend to have to look at it that way don’t we?) I’m feeling alright.  I did something rather stupid, I took my medicines on an empty stomach. This resulted in more time spent in my room than I would have liked. But, it got me caught up in a new book, a favorite activity. That, coincidentally, is what I would like to talk about today! Reading.

Now, before I lose you utterly, stay with me for a moment. I completely understand reading is one of the hardest activities for a POTS patient. Last year I could barely read at all. The computer is a much simpler diversion (don’t ask why, it makes no sense to me). But to actually read a book with brain fog is simply daunting. Or, if you had forced yourself to read a textbook a good portion of the day you need brain fluff. Not brain fodder. (Food for thought, get it? No? Ah well…)

But I was looking at the past posts Pie and I have written, and it has mostly been about media like youtube, movie, music etc. Pie and I really do other things besides mess about on the computer. To prove this, I wanted to talk about my favorite genre of books, mysteries. I love Scooby doo,  adore clues and all matters of deduction. So, I wanted to share my love with you. I think it is a dying craft, there are so very few good modern mysteries. Well, good by my standards. *sheepish grin*

Not Sherlock Holmes though. His author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was an admitted forerunner in his field, but Holmes is a psychic. He’s not a detective. I’m sorry, you can’t look at a footprint in Edinburgh and know a murder was committed in Utah by Mormons. It’s simply unfeasible. I prefer another forerunner in the mystery department, Dame Agatha Christie.

She is simply amazing. I’ve read nearly all of her stories. They’re short, each only about 100 pages. In each one you are thrust into a world of tea parties and murders, where no one is as they seem. Her basic theme is that anyone can commit a murder, depending on the circumstance and the type of crime. She deals in stereotypes: he meddlesome old lady, the obnoxious retired Colonel, the petulant spoiled daughter. And lovers, she has a soft spot for adding a little chaste Victorian romance in each one.

There is something rather enthralling about reading about a party where one of the guests falls down dead. It has to be one of the guests, so it is left up to the narrator to deduce through logical processes who the villain is. Her principle narrators are Monsieur Poirot and Miss Marple.

Hercule Poirot is a charming little Belgian detective with an egg head and an enormous moustache. The only thing larger than his facial hair is his ego. He solves crimes mostly in his head. He’s frightfully clever and is always right. Christie’s other narrator is Miss Marple.

Miss Marple is my favorite of Agatha Christie’s detectives. She is a little old spinster who is as perceptive as she is kind. She confounds the police by solving every murder that comes her way based on psychology and human nature. I think I like her so much because I’d like to be her one day. That little old grandma in the corner who is smarter than anyone gives her credit for. Plus, her cases are solvable. If you analyze the crime well enough (the nature of the crime and victim, etc.) you can generally get a pretty good idea. My favorite compilations by Agatha Christie are, “Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories”, “Hercule Poirot’s Casebook”, and “Masterpieces in Miniatures: The Detectives”. If you want to read an actual novel and not a short story, read “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” It’s very ironic and clever.

Onwards to more mysteries! Sharon Kay Penman is a favorite of mine. She has a phD in history specializing in England’s War of the Roses. The woman can write. Write so terribly beautifully you have to savor every word. Her most famous novels do not just put you in a character’s shoes, they tell you everything about them. On the battlefield she will tell you who you know and why, where they are stationed, and how they die. It is incredible. But, they are very long reads. If you need a book to last you a while, pick up “The Sunne in Splendour” or the “Devil’s Brood” series. Most of the time though, I don’t have quite enough energy to read thousands of pages (a warning, they can be that long), so I read her much shorter detective series. This is much easier to read, it is about a fictional character, Justin de Quincy. He takes you through Wales and London with equal aplomb and adventure. He is the hero in almost any book that has “Dragons” in the title. Like the one pictured above. So, you should check it out!

So, you’re sick, tired, and oh so bored. Wouldn’t you rather be somewhere fantastic changing the world? Place yourself in nineteenth century Egypt as an archaeologist. Your name is Amelia Peabody and you are invincible. You are married to a loving but somewhat irascible husband and are discovering some of the biggest finds in all of Egypt. You are English to every degree and are as quick witted as Agatha Christie. You are practical and endlessly creative. You are compassionate but can be sharp with those who are a little dull. You are my favorite character.

The series called the Amelia Peabody books are written by Elizabeth Peters. She is an Egyptologist with a phD, and has won many awards for her series. I love every book she has published. The first is called “Crocodile on the Sandbank” it is the most strictly English and a little dull by her standards. There are usually chases across the Nile and crooks that are daring and inventive.

As outrageous as it all sounds, her archaeological facts are quite sound. My archaeology professor is a fellow reader and has actually used similar phrases in class. Especially when she is describing looters. There is nothing an archaeologist hates more than a stolen artifact. Except perhaps a purposefully damaged one. Anyways, if you long for adventure and scientific discoveries, join Amelia Peabody on her many digs! I’m reading one now, it’s called “He Shall Thunder in the Sky” and its rather marvelous. I want to marry her son Ramses (if Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t up for grabs).

Now, I have to explain something, I was having far too much fun in the widget section of WordPress and made the “subscription” button be called “Follow the POTS!” I realize that it has a rather vague meaning. Basically, if you want to receive nifty little emails (if you don’t have a blog this is how you will be contacted) that basically say “The Misses Pots have a new post” click the button. It will keep you up to date so we can tell you about the happy things in our lives more regularly. There’s no pressure to do this, I just wanted to give you guys the option. It’s a WordPress thing, my own mother subscribes. We don’t use your email addresses for anything (I always go paranoid about this, and I’m probably not the only one) we don’t sell them, bother you with excess emails or any rubbish like that. Pie and I update about once a week, that is about how regularly you can expect an email. Well, now that I’ve exhausted the subject, subscribe and hang out on our site more often! I promise it will make you smile : )

Also, we have had over one thousand views on our blog! This may seem paltry to more experienced bloggers, but it means (including spam views) at least 500 people have looked at our posts. And maybe, just maybe, it made one of them smile. So for that, thank you. Thanks for spending a part of your day with us!

Be well,

Teddy

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2 comments on “Wrapped Up In Books

  1. The Compulsive Writer says:

    Not sure I agree with you about Sharon Penman…maybe I should give her a second chance. Loved your post!

    • You do admittedly have to be in a specific mood to read her books. “The Queen’s Man” is the first of her mystery series and a more engrossing read. Thank-you for the compliment! We readers have to stick together. Do you have any recommendations?
      -Teddy

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