Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reading Does a Mind Good

I love to read. It relaxes me, it thrills me, it takes me to places I'd never get to visit otherwise and it also takes me to places I hope I never have the misfortune to visit. I used to think I wanted to be a writer. I've since come to realize that I'm a much better reader, though. 'Course, I don't read near as much "important" stuff, like Lynne does. Shoot no. I like murder and mayham mostly. (This probably explains why Lynne makes much more intelligent conversation than I do!) My BFF Susan and I had a great thing going when we lived near each other in Florida. I would "collect" certain authors and she would "collect" certain others. We got to read twice as many books for half the price! But then we (as in me and my family) moved. (sigh) John Sandford was one of her authors. Now he's one of mine, too. How about ya'll? Have you read any of his books? If not, DO IT! They are sooooo entertaining. I can't get enough of them. (I already know that Jeanne is a big fan of Sandford. She and I actually read a lot of the same authors.) J.K. Rowling is another big favorite of mine. I love the Harry Potter books. Each and every one of them. I'm amazed whenever I hear that someone hasn't read them. They are truly, truly, truly extraordinary works of fiction. I've heard that some people (and actually know of someone personally) who won't read them, nor will they let their children read them, because they feel the books are un-Christian-like due to the subject of "magic". I don't get that thinking (and I'm not knocking anyone's beliefs here. I really don't get it). These same people think Superman movies and X-Men movies and Spiderman movies are a-okay. News flash folks...flying men, fellas with 10 inch adamantium (whatever in the heck that is) claws protruding from their hands, mind-reading mutants and radioactive arachnid bitten teenage boys aren't actually "real" either. They're all "magic" in their own way. That's just my opinion. If anyone could explain what makes Harry Potter specifically an affront to God, I'd love to hear it. After all, it's basically an epic story of good vs. evil, with good triumphing. Kinda like the whole Star Wars thing to me. (Don't even get me started on Star Wars. Suffice it to say, I own every SW novel that's been published. Gooooood reading, yessir!)
Moving on....Dick Francis is another one of my absolute favorite authors. I tried many times to get Susan to read him, but no go. Every single one of his books that I've read has left me spellbound to the very last page (no pun regarding the previous comments on "magic" intended!). Except for Field of Thirteen, which is a collection of his short stories. Oddly enough, that book didn't really do it for me. I haven't even managed to finish it yet and I first cracked the spine on it at least 2 months ago. His novels, however, are excellent.

I also enjoy a little Julie Garwood (although I only read her murder mysteries). And I love Tess Gerritson's books. She almost always tells a good story without causing me a lot of eye-rolling. lol
Michael Connelly - another of my favorites! I remember one time, I bought his book Angel's Flight, got home and found I already owned it. So I offered it to Susan. Nope. She had it, too. I offered it to my mother. Uh-huh. She already owned it. So fine. I took it back to the store. A few months later, I bought the same dang book again! How dense can you be? After that, Susan and I both started keeping track of our books using Excel so we wouldn't buy anymore "repeats". (I guess the fact that I bought the book so many times is a bit of an indicator that it wasn't one of his best, eh? I say that because apparently the plot didn't exactly leave a lasting impression, hence my repeated purchases of it. But by and large, most of his books are very interesting and memorable!)
Ooooh, Harlan Coben. He is one of "my" authors and now he's one of Susan's, too. A former boss introduced me to him (Coben's books, that is, not Mr. Coben personally). Every one of his books has been a great read, too. I don't have his latest one, though. I'll need to rectify that soon. He's one of the few authors I'm willing to pay full price for. lol Great reads!
And so is Janet Evanovich. I'm telling you right here, right now. If you haven't read her "number" series, get after it. These are THE most entertaining books! I don't really care for her other ones (they read too much like a Harlequin Romance for my taste), but the ones featuring Stephanie Plum, Joe Morelli and Ranger are fantastic. As a matter of fact, her latest one, Fearless Fourteen, is due out June 17th. I can't wait!
I also enjoy Dan Brown. Talk about controversial, though. Makes those little old Harry Potter books look like child's play (hey - that was kind of funny! Get it? The HP children's books/child's play? Oh well. Nevermind). Dan Brown, of course, wrote The DaVinci Code. I thoroughly enjoyed that book. It was exciting and fast paced and just an altogether good read. Even better than that one, though, was Angels and Demons. It was actually set before DaVinci Code and I hear they're going to do a movie on this one, too. Hope they do better than that last one. What a disappointment. I'm even a fan of Tom Hanks, but I sure didn't love that movie.

Stuart Woods - he's another good author. I find myself reading more and more of him. I think Susan probably "collected" him first, though. In fact, I'm sure she did. Glad she introduced me to his books, though. They're pretty entertaining - haven't found one that I haven't liked.
And how could I not list Robert B. Parker. I sometimes think he must be the most prolific writer in the world. It's like he puts out a book a month. lol I usually love his stuff, too, but lately, I'd like to smack him around a little bit due to the way he goes on and on and on with some of his characters and the "great loves of their lives". Bobby, baby, we get that Spenser and Susan are the lovebirds to beat all lovebirds. Their spirits are intertwined forever, yadda, yadda, yadda and we understand that Sunny and Richie have this strange, yet deep and abiding love for one another that will never disappear no matter how many other people they sleep with and/or marry. And listen, Jesse and Jen - yeah...okay, Jen's a worthless tramp and Jesse loves her better than anything even when she's sleeping with some guy she met her second day at work. WE GET ALL THAT. MOVE ALONG. PLEASE. Whew! That felt good to get out. Maybe Bob reads blogs and will take a helpful hint from one of his adoring fans, eh?
Oh one more...Lee Child. Sophie, one of my fine blogging friends from the U.K., reads Lee Child, too. His Jack Reacher character kind of does it for me. Don't know why. I should probably talk to a therapist about that....
Here's a fact of life and you can take this to the matter how many books you may read in your lifetime, there's always going to be more out there just waiting on you to dive in to them. Here's some of my "to be read" pile. I try to never let it get lower than 4 or 5 books. I start to panic when my supply gets too low. How about you guys?
What authors do you love? What sort of books do you read? And is your house as dusty as mine? Check out underneath that table! lol Maybe I oughta put my books down and pick up that Swiffer, eh? Nah....that ain't gonna happen. Reading. It keeps me breathing!


  1. I "hear you," on all the fuss about HP and Di Vinci Code books. Yishhhhhh...

    I don't read enough, I know. I'm a slow read. -sigh- But the last series I got into is the 'Twilight' series of books by Stephenie Meyer. Don't be put off by them being teen romance vampire books. None of those words truly describes them. Same as with HP, they appeal to a wide range of ages of readers.

    And with this one, the 4th book is coming out in Aug. How nice to have a new one to look forward too. Even though I won't want it, and the series, to end. -moan- -sigh- -pout-


  2. Oh girl, I love to read.

    I am lovin' Jodi Piccoult. What a girl. She ain't afraid to tackle any topic. My kinda woman.

    Also love anything by Michael Creighton, too.

  3. What a great post! I love Harlan Coben too!!! Love, love, love him! I've read many of Connelly's stand-alones but need to read more of his. Also have only read the first Lee Child one. Need to catch up on those. Love Dan Brown too.

    I haven't read the HP books but will one of these days.

    I recently read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and really liked it. Two of my sons have read all 3 in the series so far so I'll catch up next month before #4 comes out.

    Read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns if you want to be taken to a place you could never have imagined. Excellent books!

    Other authors I adore are Jodi Picoult and Elizabeth Berg.

  4. You've got a great stack of books there! You do the same thing I do - group them by authors.

    John Sanford - never read
    J.K. Rowling - never read (honest!)
    Dick Francis - I think I have or had one of his, but I don't think I read it. Are his books about horses? Maybe the cover threw me.
    Julie Garwood - never read
    Tess Gerritson - read them all, love them
    Michael Connelly - only read one and liked it. I'll have to look for more.
    Harlan Coben - only read one
    Janet Evanovich - LOVE THEM! Joe or Ranger? I'll take Joe.
    Dan Brown - I liked Angels and Demons better too.
    Stuart Woods - used to read his books, not in a long time though.
    Robert Parker - never read
    Lee Child - I think I have one here.
    I have a huge TBR stack too. I'll probably never get them all read.

    I also love Jan Karon (Mitford), Ann B. Ross (Miss Julia), Brock & Bodie Thoene, Maeve Binchy. I'm really liking historical fiction now - especially Medieval England and Ireland.

    Stop over and see what I did with some new bookcases. And thanks for the plug!

  5. Years ago I would pretty much read a book every two days and was forever at the used book store to get more. Now I can't read a book even if my life depended on it! lol When I started suffering with chronic anxiety/agoraphobia, I couldn't concentrate on a book whatsoever and now years later, even though I'm feeling "normal" again, I still don't have the concentration to read a book. Sigh. It sucks because I know I'm missing so many wonderful books that are out there, like the ones you've shown on this post! So...when you opening your library??? hehe xoxo

  6. Wow a girl after my own heart!! I thought I was the only one who read books like that,I speed read and usually devour a book and part of another a day.
    Its another world I visit when I read.

  7. love the post, of course, hehe. So cool to get a peek at your bookshelves. I have to admit when it comes to fiction I don't usually keep them. Not enough room unfortunately. But my to read pile is unfortunately about 3 boxes worth on hand right now, not counting what's still sitting on a bookstore shelf lol. Haven't read Dick Francis .. I know shock..will have to remedy that since we have so many other authors in common.

  8. Oh good heavens, and I'll bet my to read pile is about as I have to sneak to B&N and pick up the new Dean Koontz book...reading Coben's latest now...and still have Promise not to Tell to read...and the garden calls me so I have to put it down, sigh...great post Sissy,
    love ya
    Aunt Sandi

  9. Hello,

    I'm with you on the Harry Potter books. I love, love, love them. Another series I read this summer (it's like Harry Potter) is Fablehaven. They are not as long as Harry Potter so buy all three and you could get through them in a couple of days. Thanks for the post. I'm always looking for good books. Another author I thoroughly enjoy is Stephenie Meyers. She has a series out called Twilight, New Moon and Eclispe. Most fans are sitting on pins and needles waiting for the final book coming August 2nd called Breaking Dawn. And then also the movie coming in December.

  10. I haven't read any of the books that you've discussed with the exception of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, which I also liked no matter what some critics say. I like a book that MOVES and that one certainly did.

    There's one little bone I have to pick with USED to think that you'd like to write. My dear, you should write. I mean it. Don't get me started. Do I have to come down there?!

  11. Hi Kari,

    Love this post because I am a big book lover. I love Dorothea Benton Frank, Karen Kingsbury too many to mention. I just got a new book called Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand, never read her books before and this one is a perfect summer read.

  12. OMG - Kari - I LOVE to read - my daughter started a book club not too long ago - each member gets to pick a book when it is their month to host - we just read The Kite Runner and I never would have read that book - had it not be ASSIGNED, I loved it - it was a great book!!
    Authors I read are Maeve Binchy, David Balducci, Jeffrey Archer, James Lee Burke, James Patterson, John Grisham, ...i'm trying to think - I'm at work and I'm tryin to think of my bookshelves - Sue Grafton (the Alphabet series), Dee Henderson, Terry Blackstock, Ted Dekker and I love old stories like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Cold Sassy Tree!!!
    I just love talking about books - they are like Calgon - they take me away!!!!

  13. AT this time of my life with 2 jobs and a farm to run...there is little time left to read for leasure. Most of my reading is condensed to How to manuels! ha ha. I do try and get into gardening books in the winter - gives me inspiration for all of the hard work I have ahead of me in the spring!

    But - back to your subject of books... I have a huge collection. You see - I love to read. My Mother loved to read and when she became ill, she found herself with more than enough time to enjoy her books - you know ..the ones you have heard are worth their weight in gold because they are just so good...or the others that are historically true - almost too good to be true! Well - I have cases and cases of those books just waiting for me...most that were inherited from my sweet Mother after her passing. I hold dear to the promises the books she loved the most! I think they are waiting for me.

  14. STEPHENIE MEYER!!!! Most DEFINITELY! I LOVE her Twilight series (new book comes out August 2nd - YAY!) And her latest book called The Host! AWESOME books! Absolutely AWESOME! You gotta add these to your pile! LOL!

  15. Yes! The Twilight saga books by Stephenie Meyer. Had anyone told me a month ago I'd be reading this type of book, I'd have laughed at them. I'm really enjoying the series - on the 3rd book!

    I like the Evanovich # series too! I'm a Joe fan :~)

    Richard Russo is one of my favorite authors.

    Like the Maeve Binchy books, especially her early ones.

    Loved this post!

  16. Seeing all those books just makes me HAPPY!!!

    I love the HP books. I think they are absolutely brilliant. And, as a Christian, I absolutely encourage my kids and other people to read them. Wonderful lessons in them!!

    Have never read Harlan C., but he sounds good!!

  17. Can I move in? We just left a massive house that had built-in shelves and I discovered this new, smaller home gets lost in my book piles a lot quicker.
    I'm reading the Philippa Gregory novels. Yes, you read plural because I usually have two or three books going at once with a few magazines to break the monotony :-)
    I don't get it about HP either. I was in a book club meeting once where two people almost came to blows over their opinions-- it wasn't even on our reading list!

  18. Speaking of reading, did you ever read The Notebook and The Wedding? I am dying to know what you think of them. You could probably read them in one sitting. If you haven't you gotta add them to your "to be read" pile, because I don't see them there. No pressure, really. LOL

  19. If you had any idea how many books I gave away because of this move you might not talk to me ever again. But I kept all of the Max Lucado. I kept all of the Jan Karron that's not right... I can't remember her name) even though I haven't read them yet... I've just heard that they are good. I kept my Anne Rivers Siddons - have you read her? She is a southern author and she is WONDERFUL! I could read all of her books over and over. I tend to gravitate toward southern writers.



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