Friday, May 15, 2020

Being smart was fun while it lasted

For a couple weeks last month I looked smart.

If you walked into my library/greenhouse/office and looked at my desk you would see I was reading two books: a biography on Albert Einstein and a collection of columns by Charles Krauthammer. Both were deep thinkers and fascinating men. I even felt smarter holding the books.

But if you walked in last week you'd have seen that I returned to dumb old me with a serial killer novel and then a book from the dumbest series of all by Tim Dorsey.

Oh, well, being smart was fun while it lasted.

I enjoyed the Einstein book by Walter Isaacson. While some of it regarding his theory of relativity and other theories was over my head no matter how hard Isaacson tried to dumb it down, Einstein lived a fascinating life. He struggled with his religion, his politics, his wives and his girlfriends. But, hey, haven't we all? He was offered the presidency of Israel, but turned it down because he recognized he wouldn't be good at it.

One of the most interesting things I learned is that when he died his brain was preserved to be studied. But not by just anybody. It was carried around for 43 years by just a regular old shlub of a mortician who sold it off piece by piece with no real rhyme or reason to whom. Some to study, some for the heck of it. Weird.

Krauthammer's book, "The Point of it All," is a collection of his columns he had almost finished compiling before he died. His son finished the project. Charles was also a fascinating man, deep thinker but able to put it in layman's terms. He loved politics, medicine and baseball. It's one of those bathroom-reader type books where you can knock off a column or two while doing your business. And read another couple when you just have a few minutes and don't feel like diving into a novel.

From there I took up "Thirteen" by Steve Cavanagh. I gave it a 7+ on the Haugenometer. It's about a serial killer who works himself onto a jury to convict a guy of his own crime. I liked the clever premise and enjoyed the book.

Lastly, I finished with Dorsey's "The Pope of Palm Springs." I gave it a 5. I've read close to 20 of his books featuring the adventures of Florida whackos Serge and Coleman. They're all pretty much the same and hadn't read one in a couple years. They're Dumb and Dumber go to Florida. I probably won't read any more of them because they're getting so lame and hard to differentiate one from the other; though I'll probably keep buying them to finish off the collection.

So much for being smart, eh?

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