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Sunday, May 7, 2000

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Reading and crying

I've been depressed since Friday. I just keep crying and crying. Then I have to come up with some reason and end up feeling even more depressed because I am very good at coming up with reasons to be depressed. Well, actually I make up 'what if' situations because I know I don't really have that much to be depressed about but I feel like I can't just cry for no reason. I seem to be better today and I don't know why I get depressed. It's not like I have pms, or have had it in years. I just go through this every once in a while.

I've just cried a little today but I have a headache which I always end up with when I get emotionally upset. How did I ever raise two kids with this going on all the time? I did read all weekend since that seems to be something that I can do, sort of. I can't always finish a book because it feels so insipid or too hard but I have read quite a few books. I picked some good ones at the library.

I read "Lead, So I Can Follow" by Harold Adams. This mystery is set during the depression and the detective is Carl Wilcox and his new bride, Hazel. I enjoyed it very much. It didn't get too simplistic and had interesting characters that didn't quite fit in stereotypes. Carl and Hazel are on a canoe trip on the St Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin when they hear a shot and a scream and find a body on a railroad track. It goes back and forth between a university and small town/farm life.

I also read most of "Death Du Jour" by Kathy Reichs which follows Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, between Quebec and North Carolina as she unravels a murderous cult. Reichs made Dr. Brennan human though she seems to have a rather superhuman schedule, a delightful daughter with which she has a great relationship, an ex who she still gets along with and a gorgeous boyfriend who she can't quite accept as a boyfriend. Yeah right! That's realistic.

All the threads were nicely drawn together, though I always get suspicious of extraneous side plots since I know (and am usually right) that they will fit in somehow. One reason I enjoy more realistic cop mysteries, like Dell Shannon's is that they have to juggle a dozen totally separate crimes at one time and they don't all fit neatly together or even all get solved. That's real life. Unfortunately Dell Shannon, or whatever her real name is (she wrote under at least half a dozen) is dead and I've read all her books a dozen times each.

"Death Du Jour" is still a very good book, but I just skimmed parts of it as cults of any kind scare me and reading about ones that teach ordinary people to become violent and sadistic give me nightmares. I've believed, or tried believe, things that turned out to be wrong but I can't imagine ever being manipulated into violence or torture. I can't imagine ever hurting anyone except in strict self defense. Just the thought of hurting someone makes me feel sick, so I tend to skim a lot though violent sections, especially if they involve torture, though most of it was after the fact.

Next was "To Die For" by Janet Neel. This mystery has a Scotland Yark detective, John McLeish, and his wife, Francesca, as the main characters. The other characters are involved with an restaurant that two women have started and run, and the other people that put money into the startup. Now there's a chance to sell for quite a bit of money and Judith does not want to sell while Selina does, then doesn't, then dies. I enjoyed seeing how a restaurant operates and the interplay between good food and good finance. This is the second of this series that I've read and I've enjoyed them both.

Also, "The Optimist's Daughter" by Eudora Welty. I've never read one of Eudora Welty's books and I was a little worried that it would be all southern angst but it was mainly just talking. I couldn't really get into all the relationships but I could sympathize with her losing her only parent, her father, and how she felt about this. I applauded at the end when she went back to her own life instead of being sucked into what the small town wanted her to be.

Last was "Schrodinger's Baby" by H. R. McGregor. This was a jump around mystery novel, starting at the end, told by a character who was very emotionally involved without knowing what was really going on. It follows a group of students who are sharing an apartment in Glasgow and the lies that are told to cover up what is going on. This is one of those books where I keep reading while wondering why people can be so stupid. I thought the same thing about Scarlet O'Hara. It was a good book, though, and well written.

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4/5/00 - Walked 1.5 miles
4/6/00 - Walked 3 miles
4/7/00 - Biked 4 miles

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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