--- James Patterson
We are a family of readers (and writers), coming from a long line of readers. Grandma Rose, a Russian immigrant with an eighth grade education, was never without a book by her bed. Her love of reading was contagious, and she made sure I always had the latest Nancy Drew book as soon as it was published. During her final days, spent in an assisted living facility, she still had her stack of books close at hand.
Her daughter, my mother Marlyn, was an equally avid reader. Our home was always filled with books, and I especially loved reading the books that had once belonged to her. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Heidi and Jane Eyre were all my companions during many a winter night and are still counted among my favorite books. I became an English teacher and a book reviewer to help encourage a love of reading in others, and I never tired of watching a student begin to understand Shakespeare or develop a love of poetry.
Michael was four years old when he read his first book without help, and Beth was three years old when she began reading fluently. Although I attribute much of their skills to Sesame Street, I like to think that it is my genes, running through their bodies, that makes them avid readers to this day. Mike is a fan of the classics, with a bit of the supernatural now and again, while Beth favors fantasy, sci-fi and the dystopian novels that are so popular today. Of course neither of them limits their reading to just those genres, and both of their homes abound in books.
One of my favorite pictures of oldest grand-daughter, Sarah, has her sitting in a big, over-stuffed chair, intently reading a picture book. She is ten months old at the time, and she is to this day the most fanatical reader of us all. She brings a book with her wherever she goes, and the only time she ever gets in trouble in school is when she is caught reading a book rather than listening to the teacher.
I decided to share my family's reading history because several young mothers, over the last few weeks, have asked me how I got my children to enjoy reading. While I often tease about the genetic component, I truly believe that an environment resplendent with books will make a child a reader. He/she will seek the comfort of the familiar as they grow, and it is our responsibility as parents to highlight the positive comforts in their lives. Bookcases overflowing with a variety of reading material will teach them that there is a genre for all tastes. Allowing them an extra half hour of reading time before they shut their lights each night will show them the importance that you place on reading. Giving them freedom to choose any book that interests them (yes...even graphic novels) shows them their tastes matter. Most importantly...teach by example. Make sure they see just how important reading is to you.
Reading The Pope's Suicide by Steve Richer is a great way for you to demonstrate what an avid reader you are. The premise is definitely an interesting one. Did the Pope really commit suicide while visiting in New York? NYPD detective Donnie Beecher is forced into taking the case that is sure to cause him many a sleepless night, and the reader is along for the very bumpy ride.
Jeff Shelby, the author of the Joe Tyler series(one of which I recently reviewed) offers us a lighter read in his book The Murder Pit (A Moose River Mystery Book 1). We have all heard about people who purchase a new home that turns into a money pit, but Daisy and Jake have a more complicated problem. While trying to fix a frozen pipe in the crawl space of their new home, they come upon a dead body. Is someone trying to frame Daisy?
As usual complete reviews of both of these books follow this blog.