How I spent my summer vacation 

Studies all over the place have been claiming that reading helps people live longer, fight Alzheimer’s and generally makes you an all over better human being. I was a “late bloomer” when it came to reading since the first grade I attended was trying out a new reading program that had been piloted in England, a new reading program where every word was spelled the way it sounded, such as “uv” for “of” and “hows” for “house.” Needless to say, this confused the ever loving life out of me, especially after my family moved to a different town for second grade where words were spelled the way they were supposed to be spelled and I was left up a kreek without a padel.

Thanks to a wonderful teacher, Miss Portz, by the end of second grade I finally caught on to reading and discovered that I was a born bookworm and that reading was much more fun than most other pastimes, especially ones that involved sweating or socializing. Since that momentous year I pretty much always had my nose in a book but as an adult, reading time often gave way to a long list of required activities that included work, children and continual trips to the grocery store to keep us in cat food, peanut butter and Double Stuf Oreos.  Television and Facebook also cut into my reading time but this past summer I decided to return to my nerdy roots, especially after hearing a news report that half an hour of reading per day added some ridiculous amount like 27 years to the average person’s lifespan. Granted, those extra 27 years are at the end of a person’s life and who really wants to live to be that old but the report gave me the perfect excuse to bury my nose in a book once again and I grabbed it.

I’d like to report that my summer reading list included such highbrow authors as Jane Austen, John Donne and William Shakespeare but that would be a lie. After all, nowhere in that study on readers did it say that a person had to read something hard; he or she simply had to read. I’m interpreting that to mean comic books, the back of cereal boxes and blogs on how to pluck your eyebrows correctly are all fair game. I hope so because I spent my summer reading some mighty delicious trash.

Of all the books I read, one of my favorites was an autobiography written (supposedly) by Sir Tom Jones called “Over the Top and Back.” I enjoyed it because I love Tom Jones and also because it was an entertaining read in spite of the fact that he seemed to leave out very large chunks of his reported extracurricular love life. But all in all it was an interesting book which brings me to something I’ve been pondering ever since turning the last page: did Sir Tom actually write that book? Or was there a ghostwriter? My money is on the latter although there is no “…and written with” on the book jacket. There is, however, a thank you to someone who helped Tom ‘put his thoughts together’ which sounds a lot like a ghostwriter to this Girl Detective.

Which brings me to my next point: how does one get a job being a ghostwriter to someone like Sir Tom Jones? I mean, really, who do you have to…date to get a job like that? And what’s his number? I need to get going on this next career move because the celebrities I’d gladly ghostwrite an autobiography for are getting fewer and far between. Most of the good ones are either dead or already taken. Even Gavin MacLeod, the captain of the Love Boat, has written his autobiography (another one of my summer reads and a surprisingly insightful one at that). Who’s left?

Well, there’s either Starsky or Hutch, Bobby Sherman or that cute guy who looked like Paul Newman from Alias Smith and Jones.  Plus Willie Aames, Scott Baio and Robby Benson, to name a few relics from my childhood.

I dunno. With Sir Tom Jones already taken, maybe ghostwriting isn’t the career move I thought it might be.


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