I am a lover of books. Reading remains a favorite pastime. (Every time I pick up a book, I’m grateful I’ve suffered a hearing loss instead of losing my sight. Thanks God). When I need an escape I turn to books. I have enough reality in my life. I’m not too particular about genres but I’ve never bought a biography or autobiography. I refer you to the ‘enough reality in my life’ sentence. I don’t need to read about someone else’s life in a book, I’m on Facebook. It’s all on Facebook.
For the better part of my adult life, space wasn’t an issue and I always found appropriate lodging for the books I couldn’t part with. However, I was first to jump on the Barnes & Noble’s ‘Nook’ bandwagon, suddenly freeing up acres of living space because everything would be neatly stored in my Nook. Oh please.
There’s just no intimacy in swiping pages on this little device. Where’s the romance without holding a real book in my hands, quickly flipping a few pages ahead to see if I can read to the end of the chapter before I start supper? What if there was a great spicy paragraph that lures me into coming back 3 times before moving on? How dull to just vit-vit-vit with a finger swipe until you find the appropriate place? If I’m driving and have to stop for any length of time, am I gonna read 14 words per page on my iPhone? Absolutely not. I rarely leave home without a book stashed in my purse in case I’m hung up for long time. Nope, the Nook was a big waste of money for this reader. Haven’t used it in years.
Hubs on the other hand has embraced reading everything on his iPad with gusto. I’ve purchased (real) books in a series he enjoys (Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder who’s a police chief in a small Ohio town. She was raised Amish but gave up that structured, tight knit group and is living in sin with an FBI hottie). Crazy, but he will not read the (real) book but then pay for it on his iPad. (Doofus. My cross to bear).
Getting ready to move to significantly smaller confines in 2015 did present problems. Realized how little room there would be (we downsized 1,000 square feet) so I loaded up box after box with hardcover and paperback books to donate. I kept the Outlander series, Harry Potter books, Stephen King’s, The Stand and a third of my antique cookbook collection.
I’m a loyal series reader. Once an author introduces a character I enjoy, I tend to stick with their going’s on in fictional life until they die (the author or character). Many times it’s not the main character I’ve grown attached to but a sidekick (for instance in the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box, it’s Joe’s sometimes shady falconer friend Nate Romanowski who’s captured my attention).
One of the first series I latched onto (as a stay at home mom of three in the 80’s) was written by Lawrence Sanders about a police captain, Edward X. Delaney in New York City. The problem with getting attached to an ongoing series is waiting for the author to get his shit together and write as fast as you want to read, plus the expense of hardcover books. Doesn’t happen that way. It’s easier when someone suggests a series that’s been written over several years already (and still going strong) so I can read at my own pace.
The mainstay of my fictional friends are series about cops, private investigators or lawyers: Cork O’Connor, Lucas Davenport, Virgil Flowers, Kate Burkholder, Jack Daniels, John Corey, Joe Pickett, Eve Duncan, Cassie Dewell, Ben Kincaid, Stephanie Plum, Jack Brigance, Myron Bolitar, Walt Longmire and Harry Bosch. Most are focused, upstanding, hardworking, decent folk who are compelled to do the right thing but have no problem bending the rules at times. The majority are married/with children or in a monogamous relationship. Right now I’m reading something entirely different than my usual fare. Twelve books revolving around Ross Poldark and his clan, scratching by in Cornwall, starting around 1775. I watched the 5 season series on PBS but you know what they say about books versus TV/movie version. No comparison except the way I picture Ross and Demelza from TV.
The exception to my favorite book character’s list is a loner. He doesn’t own a car, driver’s license, credit card, or a home address. He’s not real big on dialogue either. But he has an acute sense of right and wrong and stands up for the little guy/underdog/damsel in distress (with his fists and brains). He rides a bus to a town because the name appealed to him on a map. He just wants to stop at a diner for coffee and a piece of peach pie. But trouble always finds him. He’s not particularly good looking, weighs 240, is 6’ 5,” in his early 30’s and his hands are the size of hams. His name is Jack Reacher, (written by Lee Child) he’s retired from the Army with no place to call home. But that’s the way he likes it, uh-huh-un-huh. There’s just something very appealing about him.
Here’s your fair warning about Jack. Some night when your bored spitless, flipping through 168 channels on TV, you’re gonna come across a Reacher movie. Keep on hitting that channel changer for the love of everything holy. Cruise right on by. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
This minuscule attempt at portraying Jack Reacher is such a stretch there is no imagination in the world that buys into this itty-bitty farce. It’s a big story told by a teensy-weensy man (but with a huge ego which is not Reacher-ish either). A minute, wealthy sub-human bought the rights for the movie rights of Jack Reacher and his ultra large opinion of his acting ability pushed him over the top. Mattered not one whit that this tiny actor’s frame measures a mere 5’ 6” (perhaps he just read Reacher’s height numbers backwards) and his hands are the size of my 5 year old great granddaughter’s. Aww, he’s just a widdle cutie-but definitely not Jack Reacher.
I have renewed hope. A series on Amazon Prime featuring Reacher is starting in a couple weeks. I don’t recognize the actor who’s playing Jack but by the promo he at least resembles his size and features of the guy I love….