Have you ever noticed how reading habits vary from person to person? Some of us can only read one book at a time, while others have multiple titles sitting by their bedside, in their bathrooms, scattered about their house and office.
Romantic novels are the king for some, crime mysteries work for others, and a good many of us never investigate either of these genres. More than once a sage has suggested to me it is best to move away from your comfort zone and be a consumer of many topics. This can be difficult and ever so rewarding.
I'm a slow, steady reader. Prolific in the titles I consume, I’m more like the turtle than the hare, eventually reaching the finish line. Following the adage stop and smell the roses, I wallow in the words and connect to the author's message. Books with a message captivate me. I have no time for shallowness.
I like it when people share books with me, and people have shared many. There's something very special about someone knowing you’ll appreciate their connection to an author, book or subject. Two of my dearest friends, Rusty Chinnis and Mike Holliday, share books with me often. Rusty is famous for casually mentioning an author, and then voilà, two days later that author’s newest book is delivered to our doorstep.
While I won’t be sending any of you a new book anytime soon, I'd like to share a few of the books I've read during the past year or so. Mike Holliday leant me Dead Zero by Stephen Hunter. With its drones, death squads and strong military flavor, this one varied far from the literary path I usually follow. Regardless, I found it to be relative to today's world, provocative and entertaining. I rooted for Ray Cruz to the end.
John Englander's High Tide on Main Street deals directly with sea level rise and our ability to deal with it. Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches: Coastal Hazards from Amelia Island to Key West by David Bush is a technically sharp, science-based look at Florida's east coast beaches and barrier islands. I suggest these books to anyone living on or near the beach or concerned with sea level rise.
Life and Death of the Salt Marsh by John and Mildred Teal was an equally sobering look at our world. Al Gore's newest interactive eBook, Our Choice, was by far the most creative publication I coddled in 2013. Strauss and Howe's The Fourth Turning is an interesting look at why we are where we are in America today. Books John Adams by David McCullough and The New Revelations: A Conversation with God by Neale Walsch were both uplifting and interesting. I reread two iconic books, one for pure pleasure - To Kill a Mocking Bird - and one for pure strategy - The Art of War.
Books are central to our ability to communicate our collective knowledge. They are always a good gift idea. For Christmas 2012, our favorite youngest son, Jacob, gave me a book I highly recommend everyone study, Zen Yoga.
Rodney Smith, CEO of Little Pond Publishing;and author of Catching Made Easy and Enjoying life on the Indian River Lagoon is a visionary and community leader who like to share his tales. Download these books digitally on Amazon, iTunes and Barnes and Noble by searching "Rodney Smith+Name of book"; or order the soft-covered books online! See all of Rodney's upcoming events and exploits at www.rodneysmithmedia.com.