BOOKS : Old & New
If you’ve been a follower of this blog for a while, then it is no secret to any of you that I love books. I am a genuine book lover and have been most of my life from the time I first learned to read. Books have been my magic carpet ride through thousands of amazing worlds and adventures. And my taste is as eclectic as is my passion for reading. I love mysteries. I love biographies. I love histories. I love action and adventure. I love science fiction and fantasy. I love….well, I think you get the picture by now. It probably would be better to simpler to state I do not like romance novels. Sorry. Bodice-rippers are the exception to the rule that I simply cannot swallow. But then again, as a sixty five year old male, I’m certainly not their target audience. Ha.
So why this pause in our normal book reviewing now? Only to take a few minutes to thank all of you who have stopped by here and shared my passion for reading. We may not always agree on our opinions of certain titles but our mutual love of reading has made us total kindred souls in a very special and unyielding bond.
In the past week I’ve received nearly a dozen new books. Several were sent by major New York publishers as I am listed on many of their reviewers’ lists. Others, which I pay particular interest to, are sent from the authors’ themselves who have somehow tripped over this site and liked it enough to want me to see their wares. Being totally honest here, that kind of flattery does earn these titles my interests over those randomly sent along by a book marketer. Being a writer, I appreciate the effort to create something and applaud those writers working to realize their dreams. Obviously I will never guarantee anyone a glowing review, only that if you send me your work personally, you can be confident I will get around to reading and reviewing it.
Which is a good segue into point number two here. Getting hundreds (no exaggeration here) of books every year from dozens of publishers, it is impossible for me to read and review all of them. Like all reviewers, I weed through what comes in to find those authors I’m somewhat familiar with and enjoy and new titles that catch my particular interest and curiosity; enough to put them on the TO READ stack. The others eventually get donated to local libraries so that others can read and enjoy them.
And finally there are those books that I go out and buy for myself. I do have favorite writers and regrettably I rarely get their titles from publishers. The other day, while browsing through a local Barnes & Noble, I came across a copy of Robert Heinlein’s novel “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.” I first read it in high school back in the mid 1960s and had relished it greatly. Seeing that one single copy on the shelf, I instinctively picked it up and bought it to re-read it. Considering its been over forty-five years since that last reading, I’m very anxious to see how I will react to it now.
Do you ever re-read favorite books? It is like revisiting old friends, isn’t it? I don’t often have the luxury to do so, but there are two I tend to go back to regularly as they resonate something new to me each time I pick them up. One is “The Last of the Mohicans,” by James Fenimore Cooper, easily my all time favorite American classic. The other is Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” I consider “Dune” one of the greatest, most imaginative novels every written. And as stated before, with each re-reading, something new is revealed to me about the world we live in, our hopes, philosophies, adventures and dreams.
In the end, as we move further and further into the digital age of Kindles and Nooks, more and more of my colleagues envision a day when there will only be electronic books. It is a day I pray never comes as I will always wish the tactile sensation of holding a book in my hands. I will always look forward to sitting back in my office recliner, taking a sip of coffee from my ceramic mug, then relaxed and ready, opening a new book and taking that first step into a new adventure. I hope many of you will continue to join me. It’s been one hell of a ride thus far.