While waiting for a box of books to be delivered, I stumbled across a hidden treasure.
Books are among my favourite things. I love the feel of books. I love the smell of books. Most of all I love to get lost in a good book. From my childhood, I can remember reading The Bobbsey Twins with a flashlight under the covers until I was caught and the books would be pried out of my hands.
Over the years I have shared my love of books with friends and family. In particular, my nieces and nephews. I have more than once received a phone call from my niece in Florida that goes something like this…”Auntie M, I’m in Books A Million, have we read [insert name of book here]? What about [insert name of author here], do we like her?”. These were never short conversation, as she would scour the shelves and read the back flaps of books to me so we could choose the next books we would share.
My taste in books is much the same as my taste in music, quite eclectic. My favourite book is a classic, Trinity, written by Leon Uris who also wrote Exodus and QB VII. Over the years I read that book so many times it finally fell apart and I had to buy a new one. My first born child was destined to be named after the hero of the piece, Conor Larkin. I was that taken with him.
Perhaps my favourite series of novels are the Nuala Anne McGrail novels (Irish Tweed, Irish Tiger, Irish Crème … you get the idea) written by Andrew M. Greeley. The books are a treat that cleverly entwine two mysteries, one from the past and one from the present, so I always feel like I am getting two for the price of one. Here is the thing about Andrew M. Greeley … I defy you to ever figure out he is “Father Andrew Greeley” from his writing.
There are no children in my house, but the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling have a shelf of their own. Believe me when I tell you that He who shall not be named and I had a great time reading them.
Stephen King is probably the most dominant author in our collection. I think we have every book he ever wrote. We felt very lucky to be in the audience when he made a rare Canadian appearance a couple of years ago. He who shall not be named has demanded that we tell you we also have Terry Goodkind’s entire Sword of Truth series and many fabulous fantasies by Guy Gavriel Kay, none of which will he part with. And now you know.
Of course, the collection includes those must-have books to survive in the age of social media, Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, Get Seen by Steve Garfield and Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel.
We seldom buy one book at a time. Usually we make a list and order them by the box load. My timing was off recently and when I finished Zig Zag Paz I found I had nothing waiting for me to read (OK, except for the multitudes of blogs I read every day).
I scoured the book shelves. They are packed solid. Yes, we lend, give, share, donate our books as we go along, but we do find it hard to part with some of our favourites. There are a lot of favourites. After much digging, a total mess of books all over the place, and some convenient cleaning of the book shelves, I stumbled across a book I didn’t recognize. Upon opening the book, I immediately knew where it came from. There was a time I would be invited by a publisher to an annual book exhibit in Toronto. Each year I was able to meet authors (some known, some not so much) and get copies of their latest books, some yet to be released. If you were able to attend when the author was there they would also sign it for you. Believe me, a pre-release, signed copy of a book is very hard to part with. Hence, the “treasure” hunt. The book I held in my hand was one of those books. It was a signed copy of the not-yet-released Into The Ravine by Richard Scrimger. According to the back cover, it was to be released in August 2007, and was for ages 11+. As I have said before, if it is a good story, I will read it. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. It was hilarious, exciting and filled with adventure and memorable characters. There were lots of twists and turns in the clever plot and quite frankly, I had a hard time putting it down. Scrimger is a Canadian author and set the adventure in Scarborough and various parts of Toronto that were familiar but that I had never looked at in quite the same way. A little research brought me to an extensive list of Scrimger’s books and other writings including his blog which I am now addicted to.
My box of books did finally arrive but they had to wait until I finished Into the Ravine. If you have teens in the house, or are brave enough yourself, definitely search out the books of Richard Scrimger. I am off to choose from the new arrivals but I would love to hear what your favourite books are.