Terri Kaiser

Let's talk books, shall we? Now, not everyone likes to read, and that's okay. For me, I need to read to keep sane. Books are my release, my comfort, my entertainment.

I have loved books ever since I was very young. Remember the old school readers with Dick, Jane and Sally? From my earliest memory, books have been important and fun. My mom introduced me to Black Beauty and Little Women, and I became a big fan of Caddie Woodlawn after my dad said that was a book he'd read.

Elementary school is where I developed a love of biographies — Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, George Washington, and so many others. Their triumphs and struggles, courage and perseverance, fascinated me. Of course, those versions left out some of the grittier details, like the fact that good, old George never did cut down that cherry tree and his wooden dentures gave him a lifetime of grief; Thomas Jefferson had slaves despite writing of freedom and liberty; Christopher Columbus ravaged the natives he encountered; and Franklin D. Roosevelt's disability was much worse than the public knew.

In my teens it seemed I was at the library every few weeks, sometimes taking two or three books at a time. It was then that I encountered my first romance novel, brought it home, and was promptly told to take it back. I was too young for such stories. Mom was probably right at the time, but then, as an adult, I wrote two of my own. Actually, published two, wrote four.

Once I hit my twenties, I had stacks of romance novels I'd bought at garage sales and thrift shops. Why romance? Well, the idea that two people from opposing sides, ideas, lifestyles, can find enough common ground to develop a loving relationship is interesting to me. It's like a puzzle where, in the end, all the pieces come together. That was the fun in writing them — the challenge of fitting those pieces together in a way that readers would find entertaining.

These days, it's books that explore the human condition through fiction. Books that make me think, that take me through other's lives, and through a different place and time. For some reason I am drawn to books set in the ‘30s and ‘40s. And I still love biographies.

My favorite books of all time are Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell; Coop by Michael Perry; Glass Castles by Jeannette Walls; My Sister's Mother by Donna Solecka Urbikas; The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt; The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory; The Bridges of Madison County by Robert Waller; and...I better stop now. Lately, I'm reading a lot of Elin Hilderbrand; very good beach or camping reads.

My boys are big fans of Steven King. I have tried, but his books are not my cup of tea. Although, he wrote a book titled 'On Writing' of which I am a huge fan. It's not only informative, but funny as all get out and I recommend it often to those who like to write. Even though Steven King is not my choice when looking for a book of fiction, I thank him heartily for bringing my boys to books and to the joy of reading. Read on!

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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