I was attending a meeting of our local writers’ group recently, and our leader posed this question. “What book–other than the Bible–have you read more than once?”
Great question! Most of the group mentioned books I was unfamiliar with, but one fellow rereads Lord of the Rings every ten years or so. I’m afraid I was a little shy about admitting that I didn’t enjoy my one reading all that much, but at least I finished it.
My turn, huh?
Okay. I thought about those three bookcases that are chock full of novels. While there are some I ought to donate to Goodwill, many of them were good. Some were excellent. How to choose…
I’m currently reading The Life of Pi after watching the movie, but I doubt seriously I’ll ever read that again. It’s different, though.
What had I read last before that?
Oh, of course. Donn Taylor’s The Lazarus File. Although I have a print version of the book somewhere on one of those book cases, I also have a Kindle version, and that’s the one I read. This last reading was at LEAST the third time.
I would describe this novel as suspense. It’s about a fellow who had to be declared dead and be given a new identity. Not just to keep his enemies from killing him for real, but to allow him to continue working as an undercover agent for one of the intelligence branches of the government.
The title is based on the biblical story of Jesus raising his good friend Lazarus from death and restoring him to life. Rather clever to apply that to the title, I thought.
Lazarus is a good action story that keeps the reader turning pages, but it’s also a unique love story. Mark Daniel–the protagonist’s old name–has been grieving the death of his wife and child for years and has never considered the possibility of falling in love again.
But as Carlos Ortiz, he falls for a beautiful young woman, Sol, who is married to a much older man whose health is precarious. Although she and Mark/Carlos sense a mutual attraction, they behave in an entirely proper way, including one time when he could have taken advantage of her.
I won’t give away whether or how their relationship works out, but the ending of the book is very satisfactory.
Donn Taylor is ex-military, and his knowledge of guns, airplanes, and similar things helped him give The Lazarus File quite a bit of realism.
This isn’t actually the first book of Donn’s that I’ve read three or more times. I thoroughly enjoyed his newest novel, Lightning on a Quiet Night, which is a very different read from his mystery and suspense novels.
Donn, how much did you say you’re paying me to write good things about your books? Ah? A smile of appreciation is all I need.
Readers, what have you read more than once? How about sharing that with us in a comment?
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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.
My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon.