Read a good book lately?

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I love a good read.

I got hooked when I was in high school and was grounded for a month for – gasp – a “C” on my report card in algebra. The LeMaire household was strictly an “A” list, and anything less meant no TV, no phone and no friends. So, it was either read or go crazy.

I can still remember the basic premise of the trashy romance novel. Now, nothing makes my weekend or rainy day better than the smell of a new paperback book. I’ve graduated from the bosom-heaving variety to those with a little more sustenance (a.k.a plot) inside its pages.

However, there were two things I learned early on in my literary journey – one, me and libraries don’t mix, and two, no non-fiction.

You see I have a crazy life. I’m either at work, with my kids or asleep. That doesn’t leave much time to enjoy a good book. So when I just can’t wait for that bestseller to come out in paperback and break down to go get it at the library, you can bet I paid a late fee because I didn’t get it back in time.

No library books, no late fees. No late fees, more money in my pocket.

Secondly, I don’t read nonfiction. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It freaks me out. The last time I read a non-fiction book was “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston which was all about the Ebola virus. It had dead moneys and a world-ending virus wrapped in between two thin paper covers, and it was all true. No bull there. It was enough to make me want to throw up and hide in a basement somewhere. That was when I decided no more non-fiction for me. I am comfortable in my oblivion.

So I thought with Spring Break, sunny Saturdays and lazy Sundays on their way, I would give you a couple of my most recent reads.

Tell No One by Harlan Coben: This is a terrific thriller that tells the story of Dr. David Beck whose wife is brutally murdered by a serial killer. One day, an email pops up – the text is a phrase only he and his wife would know. Could it be his wife is alive? And if so, why would she have faked her death?

Need I say more?

Stephenie Myer’s Twilight Series: We all know the premise of doomed teenage love and vampires. It might have been touted as a teenybopper phenomenon, but honestly, the books are way, way better than the movie. They’re addictive. Make sure you’ve got them all before you start. You’ll only make yourself mad if you have to wait.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown: Susan Fletcher is a mathematician and head of NASA’s cryptography division who must determine how to break a seemingly unbreakable code called “Digital Fortress” to stop the world from ending. Really short description, but with the majority of Brown’s works the, what I call “treasure hunting” mentality is great and keeps you guessing.

Diana Galbadon’s Outlander series: There are six books in this series, with a seventh due in September (yeah!), that tells the story of Jamie Fraser, a Scottish Highlander from the 18th century, and his time-traveling wife, Claire. While it may sound like a cheesy romance novel, it’s not. The layers of history, family and tradition make this series phenomenal. It’s also a hefty read – each book is upwards to 1,000 pages.

Janet Evanovich’s Number series: At last count, there were 14 books in this series, beginning with One for the Money and most recently, Fearless Fourteen, featuring Stephanie Plum, a lingerie buyer from Trenton, N.J., who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job.

In my opinion, any book that tells about a woman who can trade in a bra for a .45 and watch her grandmother shoot the baked chicken on the dining room table without blinking an eye, makes a great read. Every one of these books is packed with laugh-out-loud humor that just makes you feel good when you read it.

Now that I’ve given you my picks, I’d love to hear about yours. Who tops your bestseller list?