Monday, October 29, 2012

Oh my lord --- MARCH? and it's now NOVEMBER! I can't believe it has been this long since I last posted here.  The months have just flown by and I have seriously been remiss in my posting.  Much has happened and many, many books have been read. 

As usual I have gone back to my habit of re-reading books that bring me happiness and joy.  I love reading and some books are just a feast of emotions and wonderful, exciting characters.  I love strong characters.  Characters that come to life and stay in your mind.  Their stories are almost always wonderful emotional roller coaster rides and they keep calling me back to them again and again.  I've had people ask how I can read a book more than once.  My wife is like that. Once she reads a book it's done, over. Why read it again when you already know what's going to happen?  I on the other hand love re-reading books. Especially those books that carried me along with their amazing characters and stories.  Each time I re-read a book I find something new.  It's not that I didn't read it before or that I missed a passage, its more because each time through I'm at a different place in my life and things that didn't catch my attention before or had no reference points in my life now do.  I find as I grow and expand my life experiences different things from the books I've read have a new meaning, a sense of perspective that was missing before. 

I'm also one of those people who see books, characters and stories as old friends and like friends I keep going back from time to time to renew that friendship.  To refresh their stories and characters in my mind and see what nuances I catch this time that I didn't before. 

I remember reading Dune by Frank Herbert so many times that I wore out at least 3 copies!  Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern is another series that I have read and re-read countless times.  I'm especially fond of the Harper Hall trilogy, Menolly's story.  David Weber's Honor Harrington series is another one of my most favorite series and I have that series in paperback, hard bound and e-book as well.  Honor's story grabbed my from the very first chapter of On Basilisk Station and hasn't let me down yet.  Honor, respect, loyalty, love .... each of these plays a part and I see something from a new perspective each time I re-read them.  Louis L'Amour and his wild west stories.  The Sacketts and their kin are some of my favorite characters.  The strength of these characters, the sense of family and loyalty and hard work has kept me coming back again and again since I first found these books in the early 1970s. 

Some of the first books I read were the Hardy Boy series back in the 1960s.  My mother gave me those on my birthday and also around that time I was reading all kinds of dog stories, Lad a Dog by Albert Payson Terhune, Lassie, White Fang, Call of the Wild, Kor and the Wolf Dogs ... I went through them like someone starving for sustenance.  Zane Grey and Max Brand were books I picked up from my father.  They fed my imagination and lifted me up when I was down and kept me company when I was alone.  High School started me on my Science Fiction and Fantasy bent.  I remember reading Andre Norton's Daybreak 2250 and Anne McCaffrey's Restoree and they captured me in far away worlds and characters that I can still describe today. Roger Zelazny, Isaac Azimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverburg and many more were some of my first favorite authors.  Philip Jose Farmer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. E. van Vogt, Michael Moorcock, Poul Anderson, Harlan Ellison, Brian Aldiss, Theodore Sturgeon, Lester Dent ... I could go on and on for hours.  These were the building blocks of my reading.

Over the years my tastes have changed, I've branched out, explored new subjects.  I've gone from Animals to Science Fiction to Fantasy to Westerns, to Classics (Plato, Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, Shelley), to Detective novels (Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Agatha Christie), Horror, Paranormal, Romance, LGBT and so on and so on.  LOL! I've read all over the spectrum grabbing whatever caught my attention but always basing my reading on strong characters and stories that pulled me in and dragged me along with them and just wouldn't let go. 

Some of my most recent authors are: Prudence MacLeod, Gun Brooke, Eve Foss, Julie Cannon, Kenna White, Kate Sweeney, Marianne K. Martin, Erin Dutton, PJ Schnyder, Eliza Gayle, Kresley Cole, Lauren Dane, Cherise Sinclair,  Lara Adrian, Ilona Andrews, Vivian Arend, Jennifer Ashley, Amanda Ashley, Debbie Macomber, Kerrelyn Sparks, Maya Banks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, David Weber, Michelle Sagara, Lynsay Sands ... and I could go on and on.  I really do read quite a lot. (That's pretty much a gross understatement. If you listen to my wife, my Kindle is surgically attached to my hand! Heheheh!) 

My reading this year is literally in the hundreds of books and I still have two months to go! 

The last book I just finished reading was Hope by Prudence MacLeod.  I've found I truly enjoy her stories.  They are fun, emotional stories with strong characters.  They are what I call some of my "feel good" stories.  A roller coaster ride of emotions, joy, fear, loneliness, love.  When I want something to just flush away the blues or brighten a cold and rainy day I find myself returning to Prudence's books.  Always a joy to read and they always make me smile. 


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