What we look like to the other side.
The undeniable charms of Anne Lamott.

Even I have a thriller weak spot.

by Robin Cook

Oh, Robin Cook. How I enjoy you and your terrible, terrible writing.

If you've not heard of him, Robin Cook is the author of multiple bestselling medical thrillers. He is perhaps best known for the thriller Coma, which became a well-received movie by the same title.* I personally know him best for an even earlier book, the (non-medical) thriller Sphinx, which featured a feisty Egyptologist who stumbled onto an antiquities scam while in Egypt. As I first read this book when I was about eleven, when I actually wanted to BE an Egyptologist, you can imagine that was a reading experience that stuck with me.

Cook's medical thrillers are almost always based on some recent medical breakthrough or topic; in this one, Cell, the focus is on a medicine app called iDoc. While being tested (and seeming very successful at becoming patients' virtual primary care provider), iDoc eventually starts taking all that it learns about patients and uses that information in some unorthodox ways. I'll give him this: his books are all that thrillers should be: quick reads (I plowed through this one in couple of days) and somewhat unnerving (especially for someone who already distrusts the medical establishment). Hilariously, they also always offer one tryst scene, and here is the one from this book:

"With a certain desperation the two old friends hesitantly clung to each other, then abandoned restraint. They tore off their robes. Sinking into the canopied bed, they devoured each other, making mad, passionate love. For a few paradisiacal moments they allowed their minds and bodies to be completely absorbed in the giving and receiving of pleasure. Some time later, locked in an embrace as if afraid their coupling had been a dream and that the other was going to disappear, they fell into an exhausted, sublime sleep." (p. 337.)

Ah, canopied beds. So great for sinking into. But what can I say? Even a hardcore nonfiction reader sometimes needs a good fiction reading vice.

*Note to my sister: it featured Tom Selleck!