Reading is an adventure, a way to travel without leaving your chair. It isn’t really a chair though, is it? It is a command chair for a rocket ship, a captain’s wheel, a seat at the table, a mansion lounger, a spot on the sand, it is also a seat in a racing car or the front row of any adventure of your choice.
The more things change, the more they stay the same – and one thing that has been true throughout my life has been reading. Books have been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it has never changed.
Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five, Rupert Bear (Mary Tortilla), Paddington Bear (Michael Bond), The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame), and The Coral Island (RM Ballantyne) all feature in my early years along with The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) and Tarzan (Edgar Rice Burroughs).
Later it was Isaac Asimov, Louis L’Amour, Wilbur Smith, Michael Crichton, Tom Holt, Terry Goodkind, Arthur C Clare, Agatha Christie, The Brothers Grimm, Stephen King and Don Pendleton. Of course Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) made an appearance, Dracula (Bram Stoker), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), Peter Pan (JM Barrie), Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson), Heidi (Johanna Spyri) and Heidi’s Children (Charles Tritten), It’s a Vet’s Life (Alex Duncan) and there were the adventures of Dirk Pitt (Clive Cussler) and many I will remember at 0200 on a random morning.
Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad were a slog, but enjoyed while A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking) still hurts my head. Messenger of Zhuvastou (Andrew J Offutt) was a fun favourite, everything by Terry Pratchett with Mort being a personal highlight, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and the team-up between Pratchett and Gaiman that resulted in Good Omens.
There are a whole raft of books and authors that haven’t made my literary list, mainly because I have expressed very little discretion in the reading department. I’ve even been known to grab a handy operating manual if it were left lying around.
The point of this laundry list of writers? I hope to inspire you to pick up a book, have a good read and escape 2020 into a world of your preference. Whether it be Murder, Mystery, Murder Mystery, Romance, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Biographies, Science – whatever fiction, non-fiction or combination of the two that takes your fantasy, grab it and turn the page. Then turn another and another. When you’ve turned all the pages, stretch out your arm and grab another collection of pages and do the same.
Go out, read. Expand your mind. The more you learn, the more you understand.
On a final note, if you are a fan of Asterix and Obelix, you can watch “The Twelve Tasks of Asterix” on YouTube.