Thursday, September 13, 2012

Books, Books, Books Part Two

As promised, this blog is about some of my favorite male authors.  The first author is from one of my favorite genres--mysteries.  Many of you have probably read the books of Dick Francis.  My mother introduced me to his books years ago.  Unlike the other mysteries I have read these are set in the horse racing world.  It's not a world I saw myself being drawn in to but surprisingly I love all the details about the races, the horses and the other aspects of racing life.  I started with his book Banker but another more recent book that is a good first read is To The Hilt. 


A softer, gentler mystery series is Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  I found it difficult to get through the first half of the book but then really loved it thereafter.  Once you get used to the voice of the narrative and cadence of the writing you will be hooked.  This set was made into a TV series so you might not be new to the name but if you haven't read these, give them a try.  The common sense and morality in this series is something the world could use more of. 


I never thought to find a book about the Civil War riveting, so I was pleasantly surprised when someone encouraged me to read The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara.  His fictional account of Gettysburg was written based on historical documents.  It brings to life the battle and men of this event.  I felt like these men were my relations, and the senselessness of war is heartrending.  Afterward his son Jeff Shaara went on to write amazing prequels and sequels to the series, as well as chronicling other wars.  I believe these ought to be required reading in high school.

My husband has introduced me to the science fiction/fantasy genre.  These are books I would never have picked because I didn't think I liked either genre.  However, I decided to give it a try and the first fantasy book I read was by Terry Brooks.  This experience has opened up a different, amazing world of books to me.  The novel Magic Kingdom For Sale Sold is a fun, magical ride into a world of fairy and magic.  Who wouldn't buy a Kingdom if you could afford the $1,000,000. price tag?  I was very fortunate to meet Terry Brooks this evening, and he is a warm, gracious, and funny person.

The Science Fiction author I started with was the master, Isaac Asimov.  The Robot Series is actually a series of mysteries although the setting is the future where space colonization is a reality.  A lead detective with his Robot partner is an exciting change to the familiar formula.  I, Robot, the movie, was an imagining from Asimov's robot short stories.  If you liked the movie, you'll love the robot novels, beginning with The Caves of Steel. 

I believe it's really good for a person to move out of a genre they read a lot and try something they aren't sure they will like.  It gives you a different perspective and makes you think differently.  I hope you give these authors a try and enjoy them!
Next week, I'll tell you all about my recent pantry redo.  It involved a few bruises but you always need to remember organizing can be dangerous. 

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