#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Just About Everything

Of course I’m not an idiot, at least, not a complete one, and neither are you. However, I am so fond of these books that I thought I’d say a few words about them here.

I probably own thirty of these bright orange tomes. Right now, beside me on the kitchen table, where I am taking advantage of wireless technology, using my laptop, a stack of volumes teeters, full of invitation. (Please excuse all the commas. My beloved editor is on vacation.)

For instance, there is the CPI’s Guide to “Body Language”. What writer couldn’t benefit from that? Indeed, what anything couldn’t benefit by learning to read and interpret another person’s stance, mannerisms, etc.? What if you could tell if somebody was lying to you, for example?

Another volume: the CPI’s Guide to Mary Magdalene. Fascinating! Whether you subscribe to the Da Vinci code theory or not, (I don’t, as it happens) she’s one intriguing lady. I’d like to get to know her better. Get past the patriarchal propoganda to the nitty gritty. Was she really a disciple? Did she get sidelined by the old boys’ club? What do YOU think?

Next, there’s the CPI’s Guide to Frauds, Scams, and Cons. Handy information, if only to protect yourself. Even handier if you’re a straight shooter, like I am, trying to come up with interesting and believable crimes for your villains to commit.

The CPI’s Guide to Pet Psychic Communication. (I’d like to tell my beloved Beagle, Sadie, why she has to be on a diet.)

And then there’s the CPI’s Guide to Algebra. Math has always been my nemesis, and I’m back in college, so I’m doing some reviewing. I’m mid-way through “Criminal Investigation” right now, and “Private Investigating” is next on the docket.

It’s possible to get a pretty eclectic education from these books, and I’m committed to life long learning. It keeps me off the streets, and it’s way better than television.

A suggestion. Pick ONE book. Read a chapter a day until you finish. Use a highlighter, or even get a notebook and anchor salient points.

Did you know that if you read just seven good books on any given subject, you are for all practical intents and purposes, an expert? Why? Because something like 97 percent of the population never opens another book after high school.

Sobering statistics. Fortunately, the other 3 percent of us read like maniacs.

Stretch yourself a little. Read something you wouldn’t ordinarily get into. You have nothing to lose, and whole new worlds to gain.

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