I’ve always been addicted to books. So when I headed for the hospital in February, I brought two books with me, figuring that would be enough to get me through my brief post-surgery stay. One book was Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, both because I’d recently found a copy and because I appreciated the irony of the title, given that I was about to be sliced open and scooped out. The other was Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize, both because I enjoy her writing and because I was really looking forward to telling her I’d read her book while under the influence of morphine. I ended up not reading anything. I just wasn’t in the mood to read. That condition followed me home. I read some magazine articles, but I didn’t want to read a book. For a life-long devourer of novels, that’s kind of scary. People told me this wasn’t an uncommon experience after surgery. I heard it can take as long as a year to really get back to normal. But I didn’t want to wait that long. I’d already gone about 100 days without reading a single book. So I picked up Tantalize again the other day, and decided that I would read the whole book, no matter what. To my delight, it was a pleasant and rewarding task. It’s a fun, inventive read, filled with vampires, werewolves, and food. Bravo to Cynthia. (Though there’s no way I’m ever letting her cook anything for me. Read the book to find out why.) And bravo to my brain. Whatever I’d lost, it seems to have returned.