August 20th, 2019

Reiss’s Pieces


I know that over the years, I have discussed books, authors and how much I enjoy reading. Well, I find the older I get, the more I read – and not only read, but am obsessed about reading. What I wanted to share with you today is my new favorite author and how I happen to find out about her.


I am not sure how long ago it was but I assume it was about three years ago, I was asked to go to Woodridge Rehab Center and read some of my columns and chat with anyone who wanted to discuss just about anything with me. I did, and had a lovely time. But just as I was leaving, a lovely older woman in a wheelchair stopped me and asked if she could talk with me. Of course I said yes, and immediately was amazed at everything she shared with me.


Although she was then a resident at Woodridge, she told me how she had been a librarian when she was younger and how she still was a member of a book club where she lived for many years and went to their meetings once a month. I was so pleased that she was willing to share her thoughts and memories with me. But, folks, here is, for me, the best part of her sharing.


As we talked, she asked me what authors I liked best, and I told her my all-time favorite was Anne Perry and how I absolutely loved her novels about Victorian England. It was then that she asked me if I liked the author Louise Penny and she was shocked that not only hadn’t I read any of her books, I hadn’t heard of her! Well, she insisted that I go right to a bookstore and buy one of her books, because she was sure that I would like them. All of her books are based in Quebec, right across the border from Vermont in a small village called Three Pines and her super hero is a superintendent of the Surete named Armand Gamache.


So, I thanked her for her suggestion but when I got into the car, I sort of forgot about it. Well, a few days later I needed something to read, so I went to one of our local bookstores and bought my first Louise Penny. And to tell you that I was hooked is a gross understatement. I have now read all her books and am waiting with baited breath for her new one to come out this fall. Oh, I still love Anne Perry, but now Louise has become my obsession. In fact, right now, I have not only read them all but am most of the way through reading them all twice.


Probably the best thing I can tell you is after 47 years, Malcolm agreed to read one of my suggestions and he appears to be hooked on Louise and Armand too. This is a guy who never read anything I suggested before. And that my friends is a huge compliment.


And I want to apologize to the lovely lady who gave me such a gift… I only hope she is still reading and making others as happy as she made me.



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