I was in a park last week and watched an elderly man sitting on a bench next to his aide. She was busily texting or playing a game on her iPhone, and though he was obviously being cared for, his mind was not being challenged. He watched several birds fight over some crumbs, smiled at me, then picked up a copy of The Da Vinci Code and began to read.
I am well aware of the amazing advancements and inventions that have improved our lives through the ages. The telephone, the washing machine, refrigerators, automobiles, computers and the ever present cellular devices have changed the way we live, decade by decade. To my way of thinking, the book stands next to most and surpasses some in importance.
According to Ask.com, "as far as historians know, and depending on what one means by 'made,' the first book was either the Epic of Gilgamesh, the first bound copies of the Bible, or the Gutenberg Bible," and from that time on, man always had places to go and people to meet without ever getting up from his chair.
I watched the man in the park as he followed the adventures of Robert Langdon and saw him gasp at one point, chuckle at another and get thoroughly involved in Professor Langdon's European adventures. His walker and age might make an actual trip to Paris impossible, but his imagination can take him to the Louvre and Eiffel Tower whenever he wants to join the good professor.
Great books do give us many experiences, and I know that I am usually exhausted when I finish the final chapter of a book I am reading. Yes, Mr. Styron, I do live several lives per book, and each life helps me develop into a stronger and wiser person. You can take away my television or my telephone or even my stove (sandwiches can sustain me) but never try to take my book out of my hand. It never disappoints when I need something to take my mind off of life's stresses.
The President Killed His Wife by Steve Richer certainly did exhaust me. While it was definitely farfetched in parts, it was exciting from the first page until the last page. The "good" characters were quite likable and the bad quite evil. Could there possibly be a logical reason for the President to shoot and kill his wife during the State of the Union address? You will have fun following Rogan Bricks as he searches for the answer to that question.
The girls of Patterson's Murder Club are also searching for answers in his 14th novel in this series. 14th Deadly Sin has the four main characters searching out clues to solve several different cases. James Patterson fans should be happy with this newest adventure.
Hope everyone has a happy Father's Day spent with those you love, surrounded by lots of food and stacks of books.