By Judy Reiss
I have always been an avid reader. I have no idea who taught me to read, but I do know that I could read and read well before I went to school. In fact, it makes me laugh to remember going to first grade and the terrible time I must have given the teacher because I was reading “chapter” books when the other kids were learning their ABCs. So, while they labored away, I was put in the corner with the book I was reading and told to read quietly and not discuss what I was reading with anyone!
For me, reading has always been a way to enjoy myself and also as a daily habit. And this habit is one that I have enjoyed for 76 plus years. Why am I mentioning this? Well, right now I am reading a terrific book that has made it almost impossible for me to do almost anything else. In fact, Malcolm came home a while ago, did what he wanted to do on the computer, and then told me he was done and that I could use it to write this column. Well, I found that I just wasn’t ready. I was so deep into my book that I just couldn’t put it down. Finally I decided that as soon as I got to a paragraph that made it possible for me to put it down, I would and I did.
So, why am I talking about my reading obsession? Well, it is because I want to share it with you. First, I want to tell you that my absolute favorite author is Anne Perry and fortunately she has written lots and lots of books. The first series of her books that I have read are all about a private detective named Monk. He is unmarried but has an admirer named Hester Latterly and the books are all about the world in England around the 1850s. In fact, all of the books in this group of books are written about that time. Her Mr. and Mrs. Pitt also lived back then. And let me tell you, I get so involved in these books that I can almost feel I can understand and am involved in their lives. I just love each and every book she has written.
And then I had read all these books and had to wait, I thought, until she would write another. That was when I found she had written another series about the first World War. I wasn’t too eager to read one of these but I was anxious to read something and my friend Birgit told me to grab one and read it because I would love it. And, of course, she was right!
I was amazed and thrilled to find out that Anne Perry had written two new books, which I hadn’t known about. So, now I am reading one of them and am anxious to read the other. The one I am reading is called Caleb the Brother, I think! I was so excited to read this book that I started immediately and now that I am into it, I am not sure of the title. How can that be? Well, I find that it is easier for me to read for hours if I use my Kindle and that is what I do and because I no longer really care, I don’t know what the title is! But I can not recommend Anne Perry louder or higher! Once you read one of her books you will be hooked and years of pleasure awaits you.
I know that having a certain author or book highly recommended is sort of bizarre but I have found, as a rule, it works. Let me tell you why. I was asked to come and talk to a group of people at a nursing home who read my column, so of course I was pleased and said of course. So, I went, did my little talk and was preparing to leave when one of the ladies came up to me and we began to chat. Do you read the author Louise Penny she asked me. “No” I said and she was horrified. Well you must write down her name and get one of her books. In fact, you should read the first one because you will absolutely want to read them all and if you start with her first one it will make it easier when you get the next one. So, I was flattered that she was willing to share with me and I did write down the name. When I got home, I looked up her name on my iPad. OK she sounded like an author that I would like, and I got her first book on my Kindle. Do I need to tell you what happened? I loved the book and the Inspector so much I could barely put the book down and one after another I bought them all. In fact, I signed up to receive notes, etc. from Louise Perry herself and am now anxiously awaiting her new book. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the lovely lady who introduced me to Ms. Penny. But I hope she reads this and recognizes herself!
So there you go, I have given you the name of two really, really good authors. Between Anne Perry and Louise Penny you should have enough books to read for several years. I used to be a very fast reader and although I have slowed down over the years, I still read every day and yesterday I read until 11:00 at night! Finally I had to pry the Anne Perry out of my hands and promised myself that I could start again in the morning. And I did.
I know there must be some of you who consider reading a chore and must prefer to watch TV. But let me tell you that I can do both at the same time, which used to drive my father nuts. But if you are one of those who can only do one at a time, watch all the TV that you want, but save a little time during your day to read. I can almost guarantee that once you take the time to read, you will be hooked. And it is good for you. Regardless of what you are watching on television, a good read can take you anywhere at any time. And it is only your imagination that will be taxed. And I don’t think it will hurt your brain either! So, do me a favor and read something even if you want to disregard what and who I have suggested and let me know what you think…and relax.