What Book Have You Read More than Once?

donnTaylorBookTwodonnTaylorBookOne

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?

<>

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“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.

Tentative-Front-Cover

Best regards,
Roger

 

Advertisements

I Don’t Write Suspense

I’ve been writing off and on for the last fifty-some years. I’ve written poetry, dramatic monologs, short stories, short plays, and essays.

I’ve been writing novels for the past eight or nine years. Two of my young adult novels have been published and my one satirical speculative novel–that’s what the Christian market calls “supernatural” now–was published in November.

I’ve written eight other novel  manuscripts in varying genres that have yet to be discovered by a discriminating publisher.

But do I read Young Adult novels? Only periodically.

How about speculative novels? Sometimes.

What do I really enjoy reading, then? Suspense.

Not mysteries, although suspense can involve mysteries needing to be solved. Not terror stories, although suspense often deals with some indescribably terrible things.

I like straight out pure and simple  suspense. The kind that keeps me turning pages and–figuratively speaking–biting my nails.

But I don’t write suspense, even though my novels sometimes have suspenseful moments.

Why not? I don’t think my creativity works the right way for suspense, and I don’t feel like trying my hand at something I have strong doubts about succeeding at. Coming up with a really fresh idea would be extra difficult after all of the suspense novels I’ve read, and having to keep so many details straight–so many balls in the air, as it were–doesn’t appeal to me.

But that doesn’t keep me from reading suspense and loving it. I just finished a really good one–Redeeming Grace by Ward Tanneberg. The blurb on Amazon is brief, but compelling:

“Hello Grace, did you think I wouldn’t find you?”

Those nine chilling words end Grace Grafton’s self-imposed sanctuary of witness protection. She knows the President’s dark secret – a secret that could destroy his presidency. Thought to be a fatal casualty in a drunken boating accident, now Grace and everyone she loves are in grave danger as a killer prepares to take the oath of office.

When a murderer moves into the White House no one is safe – not even the dead.

Who wouldn’t at least be curious about a book like that?

I’ve read political thrillers by various well-known secular authors, but this novel is right up there with them. The Christian elements only made it better. I’m not going to give away any secrets about the plot, but suffice it to say that Mr. Tanneberg has crafted his story extremely well.

When I’m dying to read something else by an author, that tells you something.

What do you like to read? Please share a comment.

<>

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“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.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger

Tentative-Front-Cover