I needed a quick, fun, "beach read", laugh out loud, girl book! My tastes range from psychological thrillers, to murder mysteries, courtroom dramas, historical fiction, memoirs, and what I call "pool books". Pool books include anything by Janet Evanovich, the Women's Murder Club series by Patterson, and anything else (usually paperback) that can risk getting slightly damp with salt water.
I have perfected reading on a raft in my pool. From YEARS of tanning, I have wrinkles, a few EXTRA freckles, and the ability to read on a raft (while lying on my front OR back comfortably). I have not yet submerged a book!
What Looks Like Crazy by Charlotte Hughes was the perfect book to read in 2 days while doing last-minute obsessive things for the Savannah Gathering! She has written a number of books with Janet Evanovich, and this one was right up my alley. It is a romantic comedy about a clinical psychologist in private practice with a crazy family, eccentric secretary, "interesting" clients, and a soon-to-be-ex-husband (a gorgeous firefighter who is almost perfect except when he keeps running into burning buildings and scaring her) she is still in love with. Our heroine is threatened, and herself "over the edge", while trying to treat her challenging clients. Perfect for Palmabella!
Here are two of my favorite quotes (which will not ruin the story line, so go ahead and enjoy them):
First paragraph of Chapter 1:
"As a clinical psychologist, I've spent most of my time trying to convince my clients they're not crazy. The truth is, everybody is a little bit crazy; it's just a matter of degree. Take me, for example: I'm not exactly the poster lady for mental wellness, and I'm the one treating these people. I find that scary.
Even scarier is the well-dressed thirtysomething guy threatening to jump from the rooftop of the ten-story North Atlanta building housing my office. He's a new patient, referred to me by a psychiatrist I once dated."
Another chapter that had me chuckling out loud, (I could SO see myself in the character) was when Kate decides she needs to "live a healthier lifestyle" (exercise and diet). She heads to the grocery store with good intentions to eat better, and maybe even become a vegetarian:
"With my list of wholesome foods in hand, I drove to the grocery store and loaded my cart with fresh fruits and vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, nice purplish asparagus spears that were ridiculously over-priced, and plump, ripe tomatoes. I added bananas, a container of giant strawberries, Red Delicious apples, and a plastic bag filled with seedless grapes.
I found a box of cereal that promised to lower my cholesterol, prevent heart disease and cancer, and provide me with enough nutrients that I would never again have to worry about taking my multivitamin tablet before I left for the office.
At the meat counter, I turned my nose up at the steaks and tossed in a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
I bought skim milk, whole wheat bread, and olive oil that wore a seal of approval from the American Heart Association. I figured that at this rate, I was going to live until age 110.
I headed toward the front of the store to check out and skidded to a dead halt when I saw the "buy one get one free" offer from Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I gave myself a mental smack on the forehead. What was I thinking?
It hadn't occurred to me that the healthy new diet and lifestyle I'd planned might be a little extreme. Extremes don't work, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. You can have the best of intentions, but if you're not at all flexible, you can sabotage your best efforts and set yourself up for one huge failure. Which leads only to low self-esteem, of course, and maybe even an eating disorder, I reminded myself.
There are times when it helps to be an expert in human behavior. I promptly turned my cart around and headed for the freezer section."
From April through October, I will be on my raft for an hour a day. It is my reward for swimming laps and doing pool exercises. I look forward to the sequel, Nutcase.