One last look back
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
January 2, 2021
Happy New Year! Stepping into a new year is good. A fresh start. A clean slate, where we can take new approaches, forge new paths, try new endeavors, make changes without and within. And read more books! Of course, in my life, books are a constant. Before we leave the old year, let’s take one last look back…
In 2020 we visited cozy mysteries, brand new worlds in our universe and beyond, we read of winters and wonders, great loves and bullies. We also stayed home a lot.
Many people like to read stories of cats and dogs, both human interest and mysteries like “Purrfect Murder” and “The Good, Bad and the Pugly.” In 2021 try “As the Stars Fell” by Steve N. Lee. A little girl and a dog meet. Both are broken. Yes, this one will tug at your heartstrings and require tissues.
If Sci-Fi is your favorite, there is more time travel found in “A Door Into Time.” This one steps forward, not back, into a time of unexpected futures. Some readers have compared this trilogy by Shaun Inmon with Jules Verne and his “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” The new twist is time travel written from a 21st century mindset instead of the more primitive 18th century experience and starting point. I only hope that the new writers are able to impart wisdom as Verne did when he wrote: “Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes which are useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Did you get enough Steampunk last year? Steampunk writers are pushing full steam ahead. “Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts” by Nancy Campbell Allen pulls the reader into danger and intrigue as Emme and her policeman Oliver try to protect themselves from threats and heartbreak.
Remember the dolls and fairy tales of 2020? Are these your favorites? Are you ready to try a new old fairy tale? “Cinderella’s Dress,” written by Shanna Slayton, has you imagining life during WWII. Long lost Polish relatives end up on the doorstep, claiming they have Cinderella’s dress packed in their steamer trunk. It is fun to believe Cinderella as being a real person. And if you like this Cinderella story by Slayton, then you might also enjoy her “Cinderella’s Shoes,” “Snow White’s Mirror” and “Sleeping Beauty’s Spindle.” Not all proclaim real life characters, but they do a good job of stretching the imagination into new corners.
As for dolls, Betsy in “The Best-Loved Doll” shows readers both young and old that the best doll of all is revealed not by its pretty clothes and beautiful hair, but by the love it wears both inside and out. Thank you to author Rebecca Caudill who must have lived with her own best-loved doll to know.
Did you read more books in 2020 because of the pandemic and isolation requirements? Or do you always read lots of books? I’ve been known to read a whole book during a day’s worth of television commercials, to read a book in one sitting well into the night and early morning, carry a book with me for both fast and long trips, long waits in a doctor’s office, rests during arduous walks through the mall, and by flashlight during power outages or just because it’s fun. A book is a handy companion, wrapped in a tidy paper package or with easy access on various tech and apps. They are all waiting for the turning of the page or swipe across the screen. Characters and scenery are changeable, predictably written or imagination explosions, fitting the mood at the moment or tearing you away, revealing the history of time, or just purely a leisurely stroll through pleasing circumstances.
I wonder what kinds of books and stories will reveal the experiences and imaginations of 2020? Will they be full of angst? Despair or hope? Will the characters help the lost be found? I most certainly hope they will be filled with wisdom and courage, and provide instructions and maps on how to conquer our worst nightmares. And I hope the words describe kind souls for readers to emulate. Happy 2021. Welcome to the new fresh page! As said in one of the many Cinderella stories, let us “have courage and be kind” as we move forward.
*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.