Thursday, December 15, 2016

Four Important Reasons to Read Thrillers

Today on "I Like It,' I am happy to recommend the mystery/thriller, The Long and Far Away Gone by Lou Berney,

After all the nonfiction memoirs and books of spirituality that I have recently reviewed here, some of you may wonder how I can shift so easily into the thriller and mystery genre. My intention when I began this blog has always been to recommend some media that I especially enjoyed. So yes, I read nonfiction, but I also read mystery and thriller. I enjoy the books, mostly literary novels, I read for my book club. I enjoy poetry. And I enjoy thrillers. I like to read widely. I especially like to read stories. And so should you.

Here’s why:

1. Because you’re more than one kind of person. I’ve been to book signings when pastors (don’t know why it’s always pastors, but it's been only pastors who have said this to me) have picked up my novels, turned them over and have said,  “I only read spiritual books. I don’t have time for anything else.” I'm sorry to tell them I'm never impressed by that. I’m more impressed by a minister or busy person saying they escape into a mystery after a busy day.

2. Because escapism isn’t a bad thing. If it was, we wouldn’t go on vacations, take holidays, spend time kayaking, sailing, sitting by the ocean, walking in the woods or playing with Thomas Trains on the floor with our kids or grandkids (or neighbor kids.) We do a heck of a lot of things in the name of escapism. It’s good for re-charging the brain. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries but I began reading them in earnest in th 1980s when I was taking university courses. The courses were heavy, the reading material heavy. I needed something to get my brain to relax, to get it to move into an  opposite directions. Sometimes you just need to “think differently” to recharge your thinking.

3. Because you learn things. Plain and simple. You will learn new things. With every new setting, and every new story you pick up small and surprising details - even what kind of wine to serve with what kind of main course (something I just learned.).

4. Because stories are how we change. For the most part debate never changes our opinions about much of anything. Measured and carefully thought out arguments don't really change us. Apologetics doesn't change us. And as we know from this past election cycle, even a presentation of facts doesen't change us either. Stories do. That's why we're a people of stories from sitting around the campfire at night and bragging about the day's exploits, to sharing one's innermost secrets. Here's a link which supports my point.

So that's why I would challenge you to pick up a mystery, a thriller, a well-written one—even if you’ve never read one before. The one I am recommending today would be a wonderful place to start! The Long and Far Away Gone deftly weaves two long-ago stories together and will have you guessing and loving the characters. Wyatt wonders how he was the only teenager who managed to survive a massacre at a local theater in 1986. As soon as he could, he left that town, became a private investigator, vowing never to return. 

Until the story begins. 

That same summer of 1986, Julianna becomes separated from her beautiful older sister Genevieve at the state fair. The older sister was never found. The case was soon closed, all trails and clues gone cold. But Julianna has tried to keep it alive by yearly meetings with the police. It has haunted her. She has gone over every second of that last State Fair visit. 

Both Juliana and Wyatt need closure. Both want to move on. Neither know how.

I will tell you no more. Go out and buy it. You will not be able to put it down. And maybe, just maybe, it will change you, even just a little bit. 

Next time, another mystery/thriller: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.

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