Last night the monsoon swept through my area of the desert. It’s been in the “triple-digits” (read over 100 degrees) every day for the last month and a half. It’s supposed to continue that pattern for two more months. Suddenly the rain hits the desert and the temperature dropped thirty degrees in a short amount of time.
I drove to a nearby restaurant and the rain was pounding the car. I gripped my hardcover book and my umbrella and made a mad dash from the car to the front door. In one sense I failed to stay dry. The rain was blowing sideways and completely soaked the right half of my body—I mean so my pants were dripping water. I tried to dry off in the restroom but it was a complete lost cause.
Thankfully I gripped my book in the left hand and it was basically dry. Dining alone I continued reading during any spare moment in the restaurant. Even minus the jacket, this purple cover was a dead-give away about the book I was reading. Literally millions of adults and children are reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. You have to be living in complete isolation to have missed all of the hoopla and publishing news about this book and the release of it. I’ve read all the other Harry Potter books and I’ve had great anticipation for an opportunity to begin this book. At 649 pages, it takes a bit of time complete the reading. I spent a good portion of my weekend reading and I anticipate completing the book soon. During my meal, a waiter in the restaurant asked how I liked it and I responded positively. He mentioned that he had just completed the fifth book in the series. From my brief conversation, I knew it many people could see what I was reading at a glance—even without the paper jacket on the book.
While a number of people love to knock these books (and I always find people love to criticize bestsellers of any type), I celebrate Rowling’s storytelling ability and that her books have encouraged many people to begin reading again. Yes I read until I was almost blurry-eyed but it’s a delight.
Last week Faithfulreader.com posted my review of Ezekiel Option by Joel Rosenberg (Tyndale House). It’s a completely different type of book than Harry Potter but a fascinating political thriller. During the recent convention in Denver, the Denver Post ran an article about Christian books and mentioned four nonfiction books and one fiction books as top sellers on Amazon.com. The single novel was Ezekiel Option. If for some reason, you missed Joel’s first book, The Last Jihad (Forge Press) which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, I noticed this book on the discount books table at Barnes & Noble for $5.95 (a bargain). It’s something to check if you haven’t read it and have a nearby Barnes & Noble. My interview with Joel also appeared on Faithfulreader last week.
If you are going to be writing, you need to continue to study the craft of writing through how-to books and various articles. Yet I also encourage you to read the particular genre which you want to write. As an editor, I’m constantly amazed when I meet writers at a conference who have written a thriller yet confess they rarely read fiction (yes, it happens). Or someone who has written a children’s book, yet isn’t reading children’s material. It’s a huge mistake. In the meantime, pick up a good book for the pleasure of reading.