Okay, I want everyone to know that I heartily approve of writers adding a preview peek of their next book at the back of their last book. I only approve because this stops certain Readers from accidently dropping the book and accidently landing on the ending of the book. With the addition of a preview excerpt, the Reader–who wants to sneak a peek at the ending–would have no excuse when he/she falls on his/her proverbial nose to deny any such intent.
Now that I’ve totally messed up everyone’s mind, let me explain.
During the suggested staying-at-home period of the coronavirus alert, I have been able to tackle the books I had put aside for “when I have time.” Well, like the rainy day fund, this was the time to read my way through some familiar and unfamiliar authors. My first choice was one I thoroughly enjoyed–a meaty historical Elizabethan epic novel by Ken Follett titled, “A Column of Fire.” It was immensely satisfying, historically well-researched and satisfied my blood-thirsty soul for an excellent story. Sneaking a peek at the ending was impossible because the writer provided pages and pages of research sources covering the last years of Mary Tudor’s Catholic reign, followed by her half-sister, Elizabeth the First’s long Protestant reign. Elizabeth may have had a “Golden” era, but when it came to religion, it was a very turbulent and violent period where friends and acquaintances could change in a blink of an eye.
After that blockbuster novel, I decompressed by tackling a few light mysteries. There was no need to sneak any peeks at the endings as these entertaining books were devoured quickly with satisfying conclusions. I enjoyed Diane Kelly’s “Dead as a Door Knocker” the first in a series about realtor Whitney Whitaker’s misadventures; Vivien Chien’s “Egg Drop Dead,” another in the Lana Lee series and my favorite author, Nora Roberts writing under her J.D. Robb moniker on her futuristic homicide cop, Eve Dallas. In the 2060s, Eve dealt with unusual homicides still caused by greed, passion or revenge. After enjoying “Salvation in Murder,” I was heartily glad I could still eat doughnuts, chocolates and french fries with no trace of any soy–unless like Eve, you were married to a multi-billionaire and could afford the real thing.
Now I was ready to hit James Rollins “Sandstorm.” I had read it before but this is one of those books you can read again and see it with new eyes. I have always thought of James Rollins as part archeologist, historian and anthropologist. Many of his books are crafted so realistically using archeology or anthropology and some history that it draws the Reader into the story and holds him there. The unbelievable becomes believable and logical. Peeking at the back of the book for the conclusion didn’t work because James added the tantalizing opening chapter of his next book there. “Sandstorm” was another well-crafted adventure/thriller that I couldn’t put down. During this period of staying at home, James Rollins kept me totally immersed in his story.
It felt good clearing out some space in my vintage bookcase. I needed to find some new books to fill the gaps. My local bookstore, Bolens offered online shopping making it convenient to browse the bookstore via the computer. Checking out some favorite authors as well as new ones, made it hard to resist purchasing anything and when the shopping cart rolled by, I obliged by tossing in a book. At this point, I tell myself I’m supporting the book biz and celebrating writers–in actual fact, I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying hard that the Public Libraries will re-open soon before my rainy-day piggy bank empties!
Meanwhile it may not be just a coronavirus keeping us safe at home–take good care My Friends– stay well and always be safe during these uncertain times.