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What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?

Twenty-four hours, I imagine. I’m always reading — it doesn’t matter what it is, though I prefer reading fiction. Right now I’m reading a trilogy by Nora Roberts set on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Outlander series of  8 books by Diana Galbadon, is perhaps my favorite. She’s a bit wordy and her books are long, but she tells the story of a woman who travels back in time and meets the love of her live, Jamie, at the height of the Jacobite Rising that ended in Battle of Culloden, a decisive loss for the Scots. Having chosen the “wrong” side, Jamie and Claire eventually end up the the Colonies, fighting in the American Revolution. Amazon sums it up best: “With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to print shops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.” With my interest in both Scottish and American history, these books suit me well.

An outstanding book I read a year or so ago about World War I was Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. It was a fascinating read because WWI is a gap in my knowledge, and I learned more than I wanted to know about how it started — and ended. I came to the conclusion that it was an unnecessary and tragic war which could have been averted. It’s conclusion also led to World War II. Follett has published two subsequent books, but I haven’t gotten to them yet; they’re definitely on my list.

I think my favorite author, now deceased, is Rosamunde Pilcher. The Shell Seekers was the first of hers I read, and then I read them all. Nothing new to look forward to now… But her son Robin is also a writer, and pretty good!

I’m a fan of mysteries, too. I like Kinsey Milhone, a private eye crafted by Sue Grafton in the letter series, like A is for Alibi. They’re direct, down to earth, and the main character is more like a real person than some of the idealized versions of women we get from other authors.

For more mental stimulation I read P.D. James, but some of her books are very dark, and sad. Her vocabulary, though, is really challenging, and I appreciate that. Her experience in realistic crime detection comes from the thirty years she spent in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Britain’s Home Office. Several of her books have been made into TV miniseries for British TV, most famously, the stories featuring police detective (and published poet) Adam Dalgliesh, the main character of the majority of her books.

I’m also trying to read children’s books since I’d like to write one, and not surprisingly, young adult fiction is my favorite. I listened to one in the car, Code Talkers, by Chester Nez, and it suits adults as well as children. I learned so much from Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, an excellent story full of interesting facts. Wasn’t so fond of Newbery Award Winner The One and Only Ivan, but it is a popular and sweet story by the prolific Katherine Applegate. (This Californian has authored more than 100 books, most for children, and a few with her husband, Michael Grant.)

There are books under my bed, in my nightstand, on bookshelves throughout the house, and my Kindle is well-stocked. If you haven’t tried BookBub for specials on Kindle books, check their site out.

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