Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reading For Pleasure

One of the nice things about being home for a few days is the opportunity to indulge in some reading for pleasure. Nothing work-related, nothing writing-related and no "how to" books or magazines, just pure, undiluted, unadulterated pleasure reading.

Of course, the writer in me still pays attention to plot, character, phrasing...and all those other things that go into constructing an enjoyable work of fiction, because that is something I just can't turn off. But I can mute it somewhat. :)

So last Sunday I spent an hour or so in the downtown library picking up some pleasure reading material,

First I read Dean Koontz's "Your Heart Belongs To Me", his latest novel. I've been reading Mr. Koontz's work for 20 years, beginning with "Lightning" when it was first published in 1988. There was a time when I stopped reading his books because they had grown stale. Plots, characters and even his famous overly-described scenes were being rehashed to the point that one story read just like another. Then a few years ago I picked up one of his latest books and found a slightly different style; still the familiar Koontz but with a fresh feel. So I started reading his stories again.

Now a certain staleness and sameness has returned, especially as it regards a seeming inescapable plot point that requires the main character of each tale to pledge his life in service to "God" at the conclusion of each story. It happened again in "Your Heart Belongs To Me" and I am afraid that Koontz's overt and obvious "faith" (which he is entirely entitled to) has become something I have no desire to subject myself to any longer. I think this may be the last book of his that I read.

Next up was Alex Kava's latest Maggie O'Dell tale, "Exposed." I enjoy the Maggie O'Dell character, having first read her in the 2001 novel "Split Second" and Ms. Kava is an accomplished writer in the crime genre, always weaving excellent characterization into her novels while holding your attention in solving the mystery.

Currently I'm halfway through a book I've been wanting to read since earlier this year, Brad Metzler's "The Book of Lies" which has as it's main plot point the mystery of what weapon Cain used to kill Abel and the murder in 1932 of Mitchell Siegel. That name may not be familiar to you, but perhaps you recognize the name of his son Jerry Siegel. Jerry Siegel's father Mitchell was shot point blank in the chest, so it may come as no surprise that Jerry created a bulletproof man known as the first superhero, Superman.

It's been nice to just sit and read and relax inside some good stories. My mind has appreciated the break.

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