Martha Bolton,
I Think, Therefore
I Have a Headache!

(Bethany House, 2003)

Have you ever craved comfort foods? We all have our own. My personal favorite is a grilled-cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. Chocolate is always a good comfort food, as is Haagen Dazs ice cream. Food that comforts us when life has given us a body blow or two can bind up the wounds and help us go on. After bandaging a child's cut on the knee, how many parents don't give him or her a cookie to go along with the kiss? Judging from the alarming rise in obesity among our nation's children, probably too many parents are giving the child more cookies, and less kisses! This all leads me to Martha Bolton's book, I Think, Therefore I Have a Headache! Descartes would be proud, especially if he could tear himself away from the creme brulee. This book is better than comfort food, less fattening and worth a look or three.

There are a lot of self-help books available, and many of them are quite deep and perhaps less user-friendly than the average person would like. Using humor and some very effective quotes, like Groucho Marx's classic: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read," Bolton writes in a style similar to Erma Bombeck's or perhaps Jean Kerr's, and drives home a number of points that are deeper than one would think at first reading.

Some of the titles in her book are indicative of the context of the book, but they also allow the reader to pick and choose the essays he or she wants to read. Rather than a book like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, one could say that this book is "Chocolate for the Soul," especially when one reads the essay titled "Rx: Chocolate." How many of us have heard that chocolate is good for us, then bad, then good, then bad, ad nauseaum? This is not to say that this book is a lightweight. Bolton has written more than 50 books and was a writer for Bob Hope for a number of years, as well as for Ann Jillian, Phyllis Diller and others.

Bolton writes about a number of subjects dear to the hearts of many of us. She writes about her ineptitude as a cook who once incinerated a turkey in her oven and makes Bundt cakes like lava rocks, and how we should all be given name tags at birth thus eliminating not knowing who it is we're talking to, especially if it's good old Mom. Leavening her essays with warmth, wit, gentle pokes at herself and the foibles we all share, whether we admit it or not, Bolton manages to get her message across in a way that brings to mind comfort food, and lots of it. Just don't ask her to cook it!

- Rambles
written by Ann Flynt
published 14 February 2004

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