There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs. ~Henry Ward Beecher
I don’t get to read as much as I’d like. Most of my days are filled to the brim with work, school, and family. What little time is left over for me, I tend to devote more to the task of writing than to the enjoyment of simply reading a book. A prioritizing failure on my part for everyone knows that to be a good writer, you must first be an accomplished reader. I am lacking in this department of late. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have lots of books that I intend to read. They are piled on my nightstand, the floor next to my nightstand, all over my desk and even in a box in my closet. I am a compulsive book buyer. I just can’t muster up the time to read them and even if I do crack the spine on one, fifty pages in I find myself wondering how this work of complete shit ever made it to an editor’s desk.
This summer I vowed to break my reading dry spell. Classes are over until the fall. I have a couple of day off during the work week from now until then. What better time? I also have a trip coming up – the perfect opportunity to make a dent in my pile. So last weekend I started thumbing through the stacks and I found that my book clutter was all in vain. There was nothing worth reading in any of the piles. How could this be? Perhaps it is because a lot of the books lean toward the heavy side – definitely not fun summer reading material. So, off to my favorite local bookseller I go, member discount card in hand.
I went with the intention of buying a good old-fashioned, trashy romance or two. I perused the shelves endlessly and could find nothing that was even remotely appealing. I did discover, though, that when I wasn’t looking paranormal romances seem to have overtaken the genre. I’d rather put an ice pick through my brain than read anything about vampires or werewolves or whatever else constitutes paranormal these days (to this category I must exclude Frolay because that story is just good fun – love you tons, Helen). Feeling slightly depressed, I meandered over to a table of high school English required reading selections. I shuffled through them, considered for a minute rereading a few of my favorite classics – Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, Alas Babylon. None of which are light, easy summer reading. I considered an Agatha Christie mystery. I’ve always loved the antics of super sleuth Hercule Poirot, but even that didn’t tickle my fancy. I’d all but given up hope when a lone display caught my eye. On a whim, I picked up the first book that my fingers touched. That is when I discovered the brilliant intrigue of Daniel Silva.
Not exactly a bodice-ripping romance. But then, who was I kidding? I was never going to be satisfied with such fluff, especially in light of what I’m currently writing. There wasn’t a lot of description of the content given, just a brief snippet beneath the author’s picture on the back cover but something about it felt right. I bought it and the next in the series. Like I said – compulsive book buyer.
What I found within the pages of The Kill Artist was absolutely spine tingling. Silva is a brilliant writer. He sucked me into the depths of a story as exciting and thrilling as it was heartbreaking and tender. For the first time in a very long time, I read a story with unbridled anticipation, page after page, word after word, craving to know what would become of Israeli assassin, Gabriel Allon. The nature in which Silva crafted this story, brought this quietly powerful, yet shockingly fragile character to life, left me breathless and wanting more.
Up next The English Assassin. I can’t wait.
3 thoughts on “My summer reading”
Those books look interesting, though they are not what I usually read. The author is on the council of the Holocaust museum. I see that the protagonist is an “art restorer and assasin” – that sounds unique.
Maybe I’ll pick this one up.
Yes, I thought so too. These books are definitely written from a pro-Israel perspective. The head of the spy agency reminds me a lot of Ariel Sharon.
Haha, I always smile to myself when you or anyone else in WC say something negative about sci-fi/fantasy. I’m glad you found a new book to read! I myself discovered the Doctor Who books this past weekend and have gone through most of two already (give me a few more hours and I will be done with the second). You wouldn’t like them 😛 (oh lookit! I used that phrase on you! lol!)