For an old English professor type, I enjoy sprinkling a few entertaining and decidedly non-literary books in with the more serious contemporary texts and those musty but time-honored classics. For years I considered William Goldman my go-to author for mindless entertainments. Starting in High School, I read everything Goldman wrote (with Soldier In the Rain being my hands-down favorite). Many years later we had a young lad at work in charge of the stock room and emptying waste baskets who convinced me I should be reading Science Fiction novels. So for a year or two I read Science Fiction novels but in the end, I would have been just as happy as if I hadn’t read Science Fiction novels. Oh, there were a few good ones (I got hooked on Larry Niven) but for the most part the best I can say about it is that Science Fiction is boring.
My wife loved Agatha Christie. Although she often said she had read everything Christie wrote, she continued to read the novels and stories, often without having a recollection of ever having read them before. Agatha Christie was very good at what she did, but I have a question: Is reading for comfort and familiarity beneficial or should literature jar you out of complacency and challenge your little gray cells?
I recently finished reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Christie and, although it was pleasant and had a few conundrums for me to think about, the final solution to the murder and the primary clues that led Hercule Poirot to the inevitable conclusion, were not hard to suss out and all in all it was a decent grilled cheese sandwich but without the fried egg.