Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Love of Books...

One thing most writers have in common is a love for books and reading. I am no exception. By first grade, I could read at third grade level. All the way through secondary school I made sure I had a novel to tuck behind my textbooks to read when classes got too boring. Now days I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without tucking a book in my purse, just in case I’m delayed by a train or have to wait in line someplace for more than a few minutes.

Among my favorite books as a child were the Oz books, by L. Frank Baum, and the Little House on the Prairie stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I cried while reading Beautiful Joe, a poignant dog story, and cried again last year when reading Marley and Me.

It’s nothing short of a miracle how individual letters formed into words can create a separate world on the page. Think of it. Stories are a place to go when you’re tired, lonely, or need someplace to hide. I read next to my late husband’s bedside while he slept in the hospital. For some reason, I can remember that Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October accompanied me through the first days of the cancer diagnosis.

Of course, reading isn’t just for escape. Let me hasten to say that scripture has been my comfort and refuge in every situation I’ve faced. John 14, with the promise that Jesus will prepare a place for me then come for me is one of the foundational stones on which I build my Christian faith. There are many others, which I’ll share from time to time.

For now, this is an introduction to what I want to share with you—my love of books. When I finish one I particularly like, I’ll tell you about it. Not to give away the ending, of course, but to share my impression of the writing and why I loved the story. As a debut novelist, I’m particularly interested in first novels. Some I’ll mention will be from writers who have since become successful. Tracking how they have matured in their craft fascinates me. Others will be debut authors who are presumably working away on Book Two.

I hope you’ll join me as we discover authors and titles together. If you’ve read a particular book, I’d love to hear what your opinion was—and please let me know of books you think I’d like.