More than 10 years ago I read my first John Sandford book. It was one of his Prey novels and I was captivated. I came across Lisa Scottoline’s books in a famous bookstore in Bangalore more than 13 years ago and bought a few to take back home. I enjoyed them enough to buy as many as I could over the next few months till the legal-mystery genre wasn’t captivating anymore. Both times I was with my husband, spending leisure time in one of our most cherished activities- reading and looking for new books.
When I got my Kindle Unlimited account, I started reading free books to see if it was actually worth it and if the good, fun ones also ended up in a digital bookstore or just the ones written by first time, struggling authors.
The power of the written word can be utterly mystical. A single book can make you laugh out loud and help you save a bad day from turning into a really bad one. A book can bring tears to your eyes because the pathos or the love is so tangible that you almost feel it yourself. And that’s what makes authors akin to magicians.
Imagine being able to reach inside yourself and pour out words without knowing how and what kind of an impact it’s going to have on a person possibly sitting halfway across the world; in the days to come and the years to follow.
A book can make you angry and wonder why the world is full of demons and it can also bring two people together and the author would never be the wiser about the power behind their words.
I read Charlotte’s Web as a child and cried at the emotion felt by a pig of all things! I smile each time I read the opening words in Love Story.
Carl Hiaasen’s love for nature and conservation of our resources never turns preachy but you can actually see the ravaging of the land through every bit of snark and tongue-in-cheek phrase.
Each time I see the word Prey in my Kindle list I hope that Sandford’s new book is out. The anticipation for Steve Alten and Max Hawthorne‘s fantastic books about larger-than-life creatures; these all point to a ‘wanting to know’ what’s next. And this curiosity, these emotions are important because everything you feel when you read is real and unfiltered.
I did not enjoy the Heart of Darkness. It was rather dark; excuse the pun. The Unbearable Lightness of Being wasn’t light enough. It made me angry. The Bad Guys series makes me put on the worst Hispanic accent I can scrounge up to make Mr.Piranha come to life for my son. Lil’ Petey with his endless ‘knock-knock’ jokes is quite the mood elevator after a day spent in washing dishes and looking at dishpan hands.
But every author I’ve read and enjoyed or had a strong opinion about- right from Judy Blume, to Margaret Mitchell to Harold Robbins to Sidney Sheldon to Dav Pilkey, has added something interesting and lasting to my life.
And that’s the bottom line everywhere. Books make you think. They make you feel and they make you BE.