today i am going to review the 1972 Readers Digest Condensed Fine Novels.
it's hard to read good books when you don't have money to buy books, or timely enough to keep on track with library due dates. so you read your books that you've already read before, or books that you find in the free bin outside of "a novel idea" bookstore. i'm also reading "Seinlanguage" by jerry seinfeld, it stays at my studio because it's not worth reading for more time than when you're waiting for a client to arrive. an actual good book that i found in the free bin is the david brinkley autobiography, can't wait to finish that one and review it. the worst book i read was about secular humanism. it scarred my mind. the problem with condensed books is that someone has taken chunks out of them to get that condensed feeling in order to fit the bill for readers digest. i try to guess at the gaps in plot, and wonder if it was sloppy editing, or just sloppy writing. with readers digest, you never know. the one from 1972 starts out with a murder/action/mystery novel about an old lady who is a spy and knows karate. it was a page turner, and i have a fondness for the old lady, but things just tied up too nicely in the end for me to feel much happiness that they turned out that way. another of the stories was a romance/time-traveling type thing revolving around a bonny woman who we all grow to love. fate is pitted against her, and her bodice is ripped often due to ale-fueled knights and knaves. she has fallen in love with the wrong man, a monk named stephan, who loves her also but when they have sex he punished himself for his sins by wearing a hair shirt. another novel in the book is more like a guide, a guide to japanese culture. as i dated a japanese guy for a period of time, i thought it could shed some light on our relationship. mostly, it's about how much better american/western practice is because we get things done, though the author does go into great lengths about how fine a tradition it is to have geishas. i'm not sure reading it 3 years ago would have helped taka and i make things work. though i haven't exactly read every single page of the 1972 readers digest condensed fine novels, i can safely recommend that you don't read it. if you happen across it on the shelves in a store, keep moving on.