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What reading mood are you in?

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

Some people stick to one genre, reading consistently to their heart’s content. It may be one mystery after another, light or heavy. Some prefer sci-fi or fantasy, to be inspired, scared or entertained. People read to learn, to get away, to retreat or relax. Then, there are readers who jump from one genre to another, perhaps never satisfied or always satisfied, at the variety.

I personally reside as the latter, loving variety. Any genre, books for adults and books for children from the smallest to teens. Anything that catches my imagination, sometimes taking me away and other times grounding me. The most fun is to come across a new author and find they already have a long list of books published and waiting for me. Binge time! That happened when I found the Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun. Book binging is likened to TV series binging on Netflix. You sit down and immerse, take a weekend, a week, a month, depending on what you have found.

I started out in my younger years with Nancy Drew. By the time I found the series, these books had been published since the 1930s. A prolific series from the beginning, I had dozens and dozens waiting for me, and through the years, they have continued writing them so my binge is ongoing. After finding Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, I dipped my toes into classics with Tom Sawyer and Swiss Family Robinson. Lousia May Alcott was priceless, with more than just “Little Women” to treasure. Do we have newer authors that will stand up to this march of time?

There are many sci-fi writers that provide us prolifically with one engrossing adventure after another, from Ray Bradbury to Hugh Howey. Stephen King can frighten the daylights out of us with both his old and new works. The Harry Potter series became a classic before J.K. Rowling finished writing the fourth book in the series. Today she also writes under the name of Robert Galbraith and is churning out gritty novels about private eye Cormoran Strike, with a series of grisly murders and an unexpected love story. Christopher Paolini first reeled us in with his fantasy series “Eragon.” Now he is tantalizing some readers with his book of first contact with aliens in “To Sleep in the Sea of Stars.” Amid mixed reviews, see for yourself if this story calls you deep into the universe. It’s a big read of over 900 pages, for those looking for a challenge and have the stamina and commitment to seeing it through.

In historical fiction, Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series draws you into the American Civil War, where independent women stand strong, both alone and together. Family sagas like the “Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough are still worthy of sinking your teeth into. Multi-generational books are complicated and layered. Emotional. Marie Lynne Robinson has written “Gilead,” a saga from the Civil War to the 20th century, weaving the stories of generations deeply. This kind of reading is not for everyone. Is it for you?

I found a wonderful children’s series called “Zoey and Sassafras” by Asia Citro, opening up the wonders of science to young readers through the activities of Zoey and her cat. They meet a new magical animal in each book, with a problem to be solved using science and experiments and critical thinking. Each story is fresh with no set formula. Zoey runs her experiments and investigations and research, preserving all in her journal, and kids and families can participate together with Zoey. These are chapter books, easy readers, that inspire a sense of wonder and joy in our world and example the act of learning as an adventure to be enjoyed.

Sometimes we put a book on like a glove that fits perfectly. Other times a book is more like a big rubbery dishwashing glove two sizes too big that flaps around and splashes a lot. It is fun to try both and everything in between. There is nothing to lose and much to be gained if we have enough adventure in us to jump in. I encourage you to immerse yourselves in the joy of reading, whether it is an old series or new, a saga or light read. But read. It feeds the soul, provides quiet time or family time, with both virtual and time travel. Reading can reach into the depths of the universe or the depths of us as humans in a personal way, giving us a chance to stretch and grow. Actually, today I am going to go looking for a good dog story. You?

Good books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.