I think it started with my Mom. I can’t remember the house NOT being filled with books. My mother is crazy for books. She respects them, too, and taught us (my sister and I) to respect them as well. We’re not the type to dog-ear pages, write in the margins, or highlight favorite passages (thank God for Kindles). Mom taught me to respect books too much for scribbling in or tossing on the floor in the corner.
Our TV was crammed into the middle of a hulking bookcase in the corner of the living room. Our nightly M*A*S*H and Golden Girls were framed by the collected works of Stephen King. Big, thick volumes that taunted me with their hidden horror. I longed for the day when I’d be old enough to read one. I remember the first book Mom ever let me read from King. Eyes of the Dragon; two hundred ninety two pages of fantasy. It wasn’t scary, but it was a book for grown-ups. I did a book report on the Hobbit in sixth grade, but that didn’t seem to count. This was the big time. I think it was late sixth grade. After I finished, and had survived, she let me have my pick. Naturally, I went for the biggest book in the house, It. It was 1,138 pages of AWESOME! It took me most of the summer between 7th and 8th grades to finish it. I got this weird mix of excited and fearful during those last few hundred pages. I felt so close to the characters in that book, and I hated the thought of having them leave me forever. This was mixed with the NEED to know how the story ended. To this day I get that book-finishing hangover. Maybe that’s why I never linger between books. It is still one of my all time faves. I recently enjoyed it again via Audible. It took Steven Weber 45 hours to read it to me. Well, by the time I got around to putting It back on the shelf, I noticed The Stand, Unabridged Edition. It weighed in at 1,153 pages. I had just officially read the second longest book in the house. This was unacceptable. I hated The Stand, but I got through it. I was a determined little punk. Anyway, I digress.
The second ‘book lady’ in my life is a woman called Nancy A. Moscone. If I can credit my mother with instilling in me a love of the written word, it was Mrs. Moscone who taught me to really think about what I was reading. What was Ahab thinking? What did the whale represent? Wasn’t the Pequod just a microcosm of the planet? We went beyond the written word and looked at allegory, symbolism, inference, loomings. To this day, when the wife or I over-analyze something to its most fundamental sense, we call it Moscone-ing.
Like I’ve said before, I’m nothing without a good book going. Usually two or three. Right now, it’s Cuckoo’s Calling, by J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. I should finish tomorrow. Also Bossypants by Tina Fey. Lastly, Mom Blogging for Dummies. Within a year, I’ll have monetized my job and maybe, just maybe, earned back my weekends. Mark my words.
But for every Moby Dick, or 1000 page King book (11/22/63 rocked!), or tear-jerker like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or Wonder by R.J. Palacio, I probably read three or four books I consider Pop Lit Junk Food. Just some escapist book the equivalent of TV’s How I Met Your Mother. Not too serious, not a lot of thought involved, just a decent way to spend a half hour. Maybe even a chuckle.
For this, I humbly suggest you get your hands on any one of John Locke’s books. Not John Locke, the old-timey, Second Treatise on Government John Locke, but the guy who wrote the Donovan Creed series. It’s a bunch of 99 cent books that rarely take more than 2 days to read. With a reading appetite like mine, you’ve gotta find the cheap books if you want to have enough cash left over for groceries or a mortgage. Donovan works for Homeland Security (sort of), and does contract killing on the side. Absurd plots, ridiculous dialogue, unforgettable characters. Don’t get me started on Callie Carpenter! In total, there are eleven Donovan Creed books, and I’ve read them all. Then, just when you think you’ve got Mr. Locke pegged, he comes out with the Emmett Love series about a guy in Dodge City in the old west. Hilarious! There are four of these, and I’ve read them all.
Of course, during the wild ride that is Donovan’s life, he meets and works with a woman named Dani Ripper, for whom John Locke has created two books so far (yep, read ’em), and two more books centered on a guy named Dr. Gideon Box (you guessed it). One of his most recent books is called Kill Jill, and I’ve read that too. Somehow, they all fit together. I don’t think I’m letting anything out of the bag when I tell you that Donovan MIGHT be descended from Emmett.
If I’m counting right, that’s TWENTY BOOKS from this one author. What he lacks in literary genius, he certainly makes up for in quantity. Take it from Big Calf Guy, check this guy out. Here are some quotes from the books:
Donovan Creed –
“I have a soft spot for children and rarely find it necessary to kill them.”
“She was smarter than me, and I hate when that happens. There was but one thing to do: seize the initiative. I played the trump card God provided: I stared directly into her cleavage.”
“I came here to strengthen our relationship, but if that’s not to be, I can always snap your necks.”
- Lethal People
- Lethal Experiment
- Saving Rachel
- Now & Then
- Wish List
- A Girl Like You
- Vegas Moon
- The Love You Crave
- Callie’s Last Dance
- Because We Can!
Emmett Love Series:
- Follow The Stone
- Don’t Poke the Bear
- Emmett & Gentry
- Goodbye, Enorma
- Call Me
- Promise You Won’t Tell?
Dr. Gideon Box Series:
- Bad Doctor
- Kill Jill