Monday, June 30, 2008

They Write the Words I Love To Read


I am what you'd call a voracious reader. There is always a book nearby, usually right at my elbow, unless of course I'm on the computer. Reading has been a huge part of my life from the time I was an older teen. I do remember some books I read earlier on that weren't school related and have stuck in my mind all this time. Who out there read Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret? If I remember correctly, this book centered around Margaret's young teenage life and dealing with getting her first period.

The first romance I remember reading as a young teen was also by Judy Blume. This one called, Forever. Ooh-wee! I was introduced to sex scenes in this book, and I remember going back, marking the pages with the most action and reading them over and over again.

For many years after that I became enthralled by Stephen King. What a sick, twisted mind this man has, but a literary genius just the same. He even LOOKS freaky, doesn't he?
I could never recount to you how many of S.K.'s books I have read... there are just too many. But there is one that to me deserves some sort of "outstanding book" award, (and I'm sure it won some that I have no clue about) and that's The Stand.
This epic was pure genius, from page one till the end. Another book of his that was just phenomenal was It.
I remember I was in the middle of reading that in 1993 during my honeymoon. I don't know if it's just my imagination, or if my taste in writing has just changed over the years, but it seems like since S.K. was run over by a car several years ago, he's lost his magic touch. The last few of his books I've read I have barely enjoyed. In fact, I couldn't even make it through 1/3 of Lisey's Story.

About that same time I started branching out more into mystery/murder/thriller books and found some wonderful authors such as James Patterson, John Saul, Stuart Woods, Bently Little, and John Sandford. Of course there were many more, but their names escape me now. I'm sorry, but I've got old lady brain at the ripe old age of 37 3/4. Eek! I'm going to be 38 next month! Say it ain't so!

Back to books. In the past 5-10 years or so I've mostly been committed to romance and paranormal romance, but I'm very picky about my authors of the latter. I don't know why I grew out of mysteries and thrillers. I guess it's kind of like I don't have any romance in my life, so I live vicariously through fictional women. I haven't sunk so far as to read Harlequin and Rhapsody books... I'm more of a mainstream, bestselling author kind of gal. My very favorite author for both romance and mystery? Oh, that one is so easy. Nora Roberts!!!!!
This woman is a phenomena of the written word. There is not one thing she has ever written that I've not enjoyed thoroughly. I've probably read 200-300 of her books and never fail to get a jolt of excitement when a new one comes out. Her "Death" series, written under the name J.D. Robb is beyond words for me. ( Here's a pic of Nora from a J.D. Robb photo shoot, looking much more edgy)
The Death series is a slightly futuristic (but not ridiculously so) detective/romance series with the most incredibly lovable characters I think I've ever come across. From bad-ass Lieutenant Eve Dallas, to her bazillionaire husband, Roarke, to the tight-assed Somerset, to her loony friend, Mavis, to her sidekick partner, Peabody, and her constant need for food and sex talk, there's not a character in this series that you won't fall in love with. And the murder investigations are incredible too! I'm begging all of you in blogland to go out and get a few of these books from the series. If you don't like them, I'll eat... I'll eat... well, I'll eat something nasty for you!

Paranormal romance. I've actually only found two authors that do it for me, and only one does it really well, and that's Christine Feehan. She has an entire series ("Dark") of "Carpathian" stories that are completely amazing. Carpathians are immortal people from the Carpathian mountains that need blood to sustain life, but are not vampires. In fact, they are protectors of the human race, and fight vampires as their life's mission. So if they're not vampires, but they need blood, what sets them apart and makes them a gentle race? Well, they do suck blood from humans, but they put the person in a trance so they won't remember anything, and they never take so much blood as to make a person sick. Okay, Okay, I'm sorry Ms. Feehan, I know I'm not doing your books justice here but I don't know how to synopsize on such an incredible series of books! All of you, just take my word for it. Her books will keep you up till all hours, not only from fright, but because they are so good you just don't want to put them down and go to sleep. But be warned. Carpathian sex is VERY intense and Ms. Feehan isn't afraid to put it all out there. So, if you're a sensitive, modest type these wouldn't be the books for you.



I've found a fairly new and not as yet bestselling author to proudly introduce to you. His name is Patrick Sanchez, and since reading his first book he and I have actually become friends. (Hope you don't mind that I Googled you, Patrick!)
The first of his books that I read was Tight, which I found at my local library. I'd never heard of him before, but something about the book cover caught my eye and I decided to give him a chance. Well! What a surprise I got in reading this awesome book! One of those I-cannot-put-it-down-because-it's-so-good reads. I wouldn't put Patrick in the romance genre, more along the lines of women's fiction. And boy does he know women! You may be asking yourself what a 30-something male knows about women. Well, he's gay. That 'splains it well enough for me! Tight is a story about how plastic surgery affects three different women's lives, one who is so obsessive about it that she'll buy, beg or steal to get enough money for just one more procedure. I love the way all four of Patrick's books (so far!) have had three women that become friends, all from different races and lifestyles. It gives his books lots of flavor and realism. I have to say, if you're looking for a wonderful new author who fills his books with witty, hilarious scenes and warm, loving characters, give my boy Patrick a go! Visit Patrick's web site here to learn more about him, and read a totally hilarious excerpt from his latest book, Once Upon a Nervous Breakdown. Even though I've already read the book, reading the excerpt had me in stitches all over again! His books are listed on my Shelfari widget to the right of the posts. You won't regret giving them a try, I swear!

And now my novel about novels has come to an end. I hope I've introduced you to some new writers to check out, and that you'll love them just as much as I do. Reading is my passion, it's part of who I am. Without a book at my side, I would be lost.

Until next time, Justine :o )

42 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Tismee2

    I love to read too, although these days the 'bloody laptop' seems to get all my attention.

    I Loved Danielle Steel when a young woman with time on my hands, and read a load of Stephen King too. Then came James Patterson and lots of random ones that I bought because I liked the look of them.
    One of which was a really dark, vicious, sickening one that I read with my face curled and stomach in knots but despite hating what I was reading had to finish it Have no idea what it was called though.

    Now I love Edward Rutherfurd's historic Epics. I have read them all apart from his last which has a couple of chapters to go. My favourite of his is Sarum, followed by London. Both places I have lived in or near to.

    I have Ken Follet 'Pillars?' on my bookshelf waiting patiently - someone once told me I would enjoy it.

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    This was a wonderful read!! I love reading too, as a child particularly but these days I dont seem to have the time! (too much time in blogland perhaps?)

    But you have definitely sparked my interst once again, I might just go out there and buy a book or two!

    Raquel

  • Bridget

    Reading is wonderful, everyone should read!
    I'll check out the Patrick Sanchez books. Thanks for the recommend!

  • Lisa

    I used to read like mad. High school led me to VC Andrews and all her series. Once she passed away and had a ghost writer, the books werent the same and I could never get back into them. Of course, I used to love me a good Danielle Steel book too. Easy, light books I could zoom through in a day or two were the ones I went after. I dont like SK. Sorry, I have fear issues. I prefer funny, romance-type books. Of anything that does not involve blood and guts. I will have to check out the Sanchez books you have listed. There is a brand new library opening less than a mils away from me and it is HUGE. I cannot wait to have a library so close by and I can once again get into reading.

    If you want a quick hilarious read, especially if you have any ties to 'southern women' or, dare I say rednecks, check our Celia Rivenbark. It is a collection of essays about southern women and it had me laughing the entire way through.

  • Naz

    Hi Justine, although I have a difficult time in getting to read your blog (my pc has issues)I do enjoy it very much. Just to let you know I've written down many of your book suggestions and will see if my library has them available. I'm always looking for book suggestions, thanks so much. I too have grown tired of the mysteries and thrillers but I do remember that I had enjoyed the series by Lawrence A. Sanders called The Deadly Sins. I especially liked The Third Deadly Sins, but it's better to read them in order.
    Thanks again for your book recommendations for a great blog.

  • Justine

    Ah Lisa, I remember Flowers in the Attic very well. So compelling and kind of sick, eh? How many writers have the guts to incorporate incest into their novels? Yikes. And that was back in the 80s too!

    You guys, let me know what you pick up (at the store or at the library) and if you've enjoyed it!

    Justine :o )

  • Penny

    Fun topic Justine! About the only time I buy a book is when I'm flying on a jet somewhere and desperately need something to pass the time. Last book I picked up is "Dark At The Roots". It's written by a comedian about her life growing up. It made me laugh out loud a bunch of times! When I go to Borders I'm in the decorating, cookbook and magazine sections. Oh wait, I also picked up "The New Earth", but I'm reading maybe 2-3 pages a week. HA! I'll reread your blog and find something to try. Thank you for your suggestions.
    Penny

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    Flowers in the Attic
    If There be Thorns
    Petals In the Wind
    All by VC Andrews, I read them all!!

  • Buffie

    I've always been a big reader too. I was also introduced to the "romance" novel in my teens and have been hooked ever since. I particularlly love historical romance....Bertrice Small is one of my all time favorite authors!

  • Picket

    Hello girl!!! I love to read a good book...just don't seem to have the time lately! I have always loved the Eugenia Price collection....uhh...sweetie.one question if I may....now far be it from me to shine a light in your darkness...but..."You Read On Your HONEYMOON?!!!!!" Obviously you were reading the wrong book you little doodlehead!!!!! lol lol Thanks so much for coming by sweetie..I have laughed and cried so much from happiness till I feel as light as a feather right now (who cares what the scales say!!!) Hope the sun is shining on your side of the mountain and that you are having a beautiful day!!! Thanks again girl!!!

  • Real Life Mom in Wonderland

    Justine -

    I just read your posts to my blog - I am totally new at this, but I'm so happy that you are reading it - I didn't know if anyone would. I don't feel so lonely in this new world anymore. I love your blog - I have been looking for good books all summer - thanks for the suggestions!

    Real Life Mom in Wonderland!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    I love to read too! Except for your blog today! lol.

    I just skimmed through it. Sorry. I tried! I think it's because I feel dizzy. I may need a new prescription for my glasses. I will come back and try again tomorrow.

    I do love Judy Blume though! And Beverly Cleary. Both great children's authors. But thanks for sharing!!! Love ya girl.

  • Tootsie

    as a girl...I had the entire Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boy's series and all the Judy Blume books! they were my favorite!
    Now I read DEAN KOONTZ...he is even creepier than Stephen King...have you tried them?

  • Donna

    Justine... my blog sucks... but check it out anyway when you get chance.. I felt so retarded trying to put it all together... LOL

  • French

    Read the Judy Blume way back as a teen as all the Flowers in the Attic books, later I became a Stephen King fan and started his books I think the Stand was my favorite! I have read a few of the Dean Koontz books too! The last book I read was the DaVinci Code and loved it but have yet to see the movie! And yes Justine have seen all those movies many many years ago, like I said in my blog my parents were movie buffs so that's all we used to do, but admittedly it's been a long time for most except Going My Way I try to see that every Christmas! French;)

  • SchmeckyGirl

    You said my font was small! Look at yours!

  • Justine

    Ooh Becky, you are such a bitch! First you come to my blog to tell me you're not reading it, then you come back to tell me my font is as small as yours was! NOT! And mine is in bold so it's easier to read. Anyone else think it's too small? ::::::::::::bitch slap:::::::::::::

    Justine :o )

  • French

    Justine the wages are very bad in Jamaica they really work hard too! Although the all-inclusive resorts are no tipping allowed we always tip;) So we tipped our housekeeper probably the equivalent of a week's wages that's why she left the very touching flower petal message for us! French

  • Laurie Starr

    Justine,

    I used to read a lot of Stephen King too. I have read The Stand 3 times. Very interesting. Loved Misery too. I read a lot of SK when I was pregnant--what does that say about me????????????????????? I think the hormones made me crazy.

    Right now I am reading Vivian Stringer's autobiography. She's the women's bb coach at Rutgers. Awesome woman and great book so far. Don Imus picked the WRONG WOMAN to mess with.

    Bye.

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Just in case it's not clear:

    I love Justine. Justine is my friend. Justine is funny. Justine is smart. Justine is my smart, funny friend. I love her.

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    I loved The Stand too and have read it more than once. Here is some trivia from the book. In the beginning he talks about Kunkle, Ohio, and about a grandstand that had burned down. There really is a Kunkle, Ohio and it is where my ex husband grew up, and their grandstand did burn down in the 60's.

    I confess with great shame that I used to read Harlequin romance novels, especially when I was going to college this last time, and I just needed some junk food for my brain.

    I don't have any current favorites, but sure did love the Earth Child series by Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear), but am annoyed that she still hasn't finished her last book. Argh!

    Kady

  • Kathy

    Hi Justine, your blog looks fantastic and hilarious, I am so tired today that I can barely see the screen anymore, so I just wanted to leave a quick note to tell you that we tried your Bowtie, Spinach and Mushroom recipe tonight and I posted just for you. I will be back tomorrow to sign your guestbook and read the whole blog as I could not do it the justice it deserves right now. see you tomorrow, cannot wait. Kathy

  • The Scarlett Rose Garden

    Hi Justine! Thanks so much for popping in and leaving nice comments!
    Oh, how I loved Judy Blume when I was a pre-teen and teen too. I could read one of her books in a day. Remember Tiger Eyes? And I can't remember the one from a young male's perspective, but it was good too. All of them.
    Gerald's Game by King was pretty good, but I only read one other. I can't watch those kind of movies but I can read the books and esp. true crime, such as Ann Rule books. This Sanchez feller sounds pretty good!
    Nikki

  • Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity

    Justine, Your blog looks so cute. How did you do that?? I'll be back to read it when I have more time. I've been really busy with my new job. I just wanted to say. "Hi!"
    Terrie

  • Bridget

    Now I'm going to put you two in time out! No blogging until you can kiss and makeup. LOL You are going to give people that don't know you the wrong impression! They love each other and I love them both!

  • Justine

    Whew, lots of comments coming in today! Hi everyone! Buffie, I hate historical romance as a rule, but once in a while there is an exception. I especially hate stuff that goes way back to like the 1600 because all I can think of is how damn dirty they were while reading a love scene. Pew!
    Laurie, you already know I'm not a non-fiction kind of gal. I could never sit and read through a biography!

    Yep Nikki, I wouldn't steer you wrong with Mr. Sanchez! Give him a try!

    Kathy and Donna (is that deembee?) I've bookmarked your blogs and plan on visiting today! I can't believe how many blogs I go to each day. No wonder nothing gets done around here!

    Justine :o )

  • Justine

    Donna, I hope you come back and read this, because your blog doesn't have anywhere to comment! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to admit, I didn't read all the family history (too early right now! LOL) but LOVED looking at the family portraits going from way back then. Totally cool that you have all that today! And your kids are gorgeous, as are you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beautiful!

    Justine :o )

  • Penny

    Hey Justine. I ALSO did your pasta recipe last nite. I loved the smell of garlic all through the place. I even took a little to a neighbor across the street. I'm going to do Kathy's recipe for a party Friday nite.

    Husband is in the same room and he told me to tell you he likes this music. He's moving his butt and body around in the chair (chair dancing) to Ottmar's beat! :-)
    Have fun day!
    Hugs,
    Penny

  • Justine

    LOL Penny, about your husband chair dancing to my VERY TAME music. What would he do if I put something rockin' on there again?

    Sounds like you enjoyed the recipe if you even brought some to your neighbor! Glad to hear it!

    Justine :o )

  • Penny

    Yeah, it was great, and I'm having some again for lunch. I love leftovers. I made it with whole wheat penne pasta, and added a can of italian tomatoes just cause I wanted to.

    Ottmar has a groovy international beat. I've got a CD like it, but I can't think of the guys name right now. I found it in the New Age section of Borders of all places. It's great cocktail music!

  • Penny

    Yeah, it was great, and I'm having some again for lunch. I love leftovers. I made it with whole wheat penne pasta, and added a can of italian tomatoes just cause I wanted to.

    Ottmar has a groovy international beat. I've got a CD like it, but I can't think of the guys name right now. I found it in the New Age section of Borders of all places. It's great cocktail music!

  • Donna

    Justine...Thank you for checking out my blog.. LOL... It is a bunch to take in so early in the morning. (I actually cut in short. ) LOL. I have been trying to figure out how to accept comments... I am going to post again today and see how it works out!

    Donna (Deembee)

  • Donna

    Justine, I posted again. I got it somewhat right. Check it out.

  • Kathy

    Hi Justine, Happy 11th Birthday to your Daughter, your girls are both adorable, have fun, I think putting bacon bits in your pasta i a great idea, chicken and bacon would be yummy, in fact you could just about add any meat, it is such a great base, thank you.
    Your book post is so informative and thank you for introducing me to some authors I have never seen before, my son has a lot of Stephen King books I will "Borrow" some now.
    I will check out the web for Nora and Patrick, He sounds funny and if I dont Like Nora Roberts, I am expecting you to eat a Snail (The grossest thing on the Planet!). and not an Escargot covered in Garlic, coz I know how much you love that, A common garden Snail (house an all). hehe. off to the next post... off to the next post..... Ciao for now, Kathy.

  • Shelia

    Well hello there Justine! Glad you like corn, me too! Oh the wonderful things I'm learning about my new blogging friends, but actually you're my old RMS friend, but this is more fun. I have to admit I've read more Stephen King books than I want to admit. My two favs are 'The Shining' and 'Salem's Lot'. I know they've both been made into movies, but the books are so much better. I've read lots of James Patterson but he was getting a little to gory for me. Love Patricia Cornwell. Now I'm reading these little sweet 'gal' books by Debbie Macomber. Just nice little reads and they most always end good! Well, dahling, please don't strain your little eyes by reading too much tonight. Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  • gloria

    Justine, I love to read all Danielle Steel books I have never miss a one of her's. I use to love Sidney Shelton books also "the other side of midnight" I loved.And of course when I was younger I like all of Emma Bombeck books just too funny and so true about every day life, Pickets writing reminds me alot of Emmas. Well you have a great Blog. hugs and smiles

  • SchmeckyGirl

    I said I love you and you didn't say it back. Or write it back. Whatever...

    I read your post. Interesting.

  • Justine

    You want me to tell you I love you after you called my post "interesting"? I know what that means to you! HA!

    Justine :o )

  • Shelia

    I'm back! Just to answer your question, I'm reading Back on Blossom Street. Almost thru it. They are sweet little books aren't they? Now you go over and kiss that little doggie for me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Kris

    I read Judy Bloom as a girl. I am now a mom of 2 boys, so she is not to be in my future. There was another title I remember...something about pistacios?

    kw

  • Anonymous

    So you bring up my favorite author Judy Blume and you didn't mention her two best books, The 4th Grade Nothing and Superfudge. How could you? Those books introduced me to the joy of reading. I can not comment on any other fiction books because I don't read them, you know me only true crime! I love a good scare.

    Jill

  • Anonymous

    So you bring up my favorite author Judy Blume and you didn't mention her two best books, The 4th Grade Nothing and Superfudge. How could you? Those books introduced me to the joy of reading. I can not comment on any other fiction books because I don't read them, you know me only true crime! I love a good scare.

    Jill