Since it’s the weekend, I thought today would be the perfect day to address that other popular resolution that many of us make to read more and recommend a few of my favorite books starting with Purple Hibiscus.

It’s a beautiful coming of age story set in Nigeria and told from the point of view of 15-year-old Kambili.  Filled with love, suspense, family dysfunction, and set amid the unravelling of a country, this is a book you won’t be able to put down. 

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Jennifer and I have been voracious readers from the time we were kids.  Because we’re sisters our taste in books are pretty similar. We read everything from romances, to mystery and suspense novels, literary fiction, and science fiction and fantasy.

The latter has always been a favorite of mine since I was introduced to Marvel comic books by our brother Tony.  Actually, I shouldn’t say that I was introduced to them by my brother but rather that I snuck and read his comic books…LOL!  He used to get so mad because I never put them back in their protective plastic bags.  I was a kid so I didn’t understand the importance of plastic bags to comic book collectors. 

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I came to realize later when he moved away from home and I started my own collection of the X-Men titles, Spiderman, Thor, Avengers, Silver Surfer and many more.  When my brother went into the military he brought his collection back to store them with us and it got mixed up with mine.  I remember us having a big fight when he got out of the service over who purchased which book.  We never did settle the argument and the collection of hundreds of comics have remained together ever since.

 I stopped collecting several years ago because with all of the crossover stories between the various Marvel series, it just got to be too expensive.  At some point I guess my brother and I will have to decide if we should try to sell our collection but for now it’s great to know that if I ever want to read about Days of Future Past, all I have to do is pull out a box.

 Comic books led to my love of science fiction and fantasy.  Some of my favorite books in this genre including the classic Lord of the Rings (finally got Jennifer to read the books when the movies came out).  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (horrible movie), The Ender Novels by Orson Scott Card (hope the movies live up to the books…not sure about Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff), The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson and The Dark Tower novels by Stephen King (hope Ron Howard can work out the financing to make the movies).

With my day job in publishing (yes that is where my love of books led me) and running JenSan with Jennifer, I haven’t had a lot of time to keep up on my reading in the last couple of years.  However, one of my resolutions this year is to catch up on my reading list.

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During the holiday break I started reading the new Jim Butcher, “Cold Days,” and when I’m finish with that, I plan to start re-reading the first four books in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.  I’ve been a fan of the novels since the first book, “Game of Thrones was published years ago  However, I realized after watching the first season of the HBO series that I really needed a refresher course on the story because there is a large number of characters and such a densely plotted storyline that there is no way for the show to cover everything.  For that reason, I still haven’t read book 5 even though I purchased it the week the book came out last year.  The funny thing is that I told Jennifer that she had to read the books in preparation for the series and she has now read them all while I haven’t gotten past book 4 because I want to read them all again before I move on to book 5.

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I don’t remember if Jennifer introduced me to the novels of Elizabeth George or I introduced her but I’m glad I discovered this author.  Believing the Lie is her latest novel and is next on my list after I re-read the Song of Ice and Fire series.  Ms. George is an American author who writes English mysteries in the vain of such successful British authors as Agatha Christie and P.D. James.  Like those two masters of the genre, Ms. George’s stories are always about the “why" of the murders, which in the end results in a much more entertaining read than typical American mysteries that tend to be about “who done it."  The novels have two protagonists in Inspector Lynley and his partner Barbara Havers and there is a continuing storyline as it involves their personal lives.  However, at the center of each book is a stand-alone mystery.  I dare you to read any book in the series and now immediately want to go back and read all the others.

 So what books are on your resolution list this year? 

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