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2011-01-13

Book Blitz Month - good time for reading

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC

January is National Book Blitz Month! Although we spent some time googling the name, we found little information about the purpose or origination of the designation. But, since we love not only writing, but also reading that written word, it seems like a great opportunity to put in a few good words about books.
Use Book Blitz Month as a great time to build up that book collection with some best sellers and personal favorites.
Although going to the public library is an age-old activity, it is still fun for entire family. You can also take a solo trip to the bookstore for a latte and restful and relaxing reading session. If you work in education, National Book Blitz Month might be a good time to organize a book club like a Goosebumps series with your students.
You could use Book Blitz Month as an excuse to see how many books you can read in one month. It might also be the encouragement you need to donate as many good books as possible to a library or local thrift shop.
Perhaps some local readers will inspire you.
When asked if he was a reader, Bandera County River Authority board member Richard Connors of Pipe Creek quipped, “Does a cow chew cud?” Connors reads lots of American and world history, especially books that deal with the big events, like wars. If forced to name a favorite author, Connors would select Shelby Foote. “He’s the best when it comes to the Civil War.”
Bandera High School sophomore April Otwell, who does most of her reading on the computer, likes anything that has to do with history, from world history to Bandera County history. “It’s interesting to see what happened,” she said.
Local businessman Gary Johnston had a hard time coming up with just one or two favorites because he reads a lot. He particularly enjoyed “Bright Young People” by DJ Taylor that looks at the lost generation of London’s Jazz Age. Also on the non-fiction front, he read “Lords of Finance: Bankers Who Broke the World,” by Liaquat Ahamed. It is a history of the financial and economic turmoil that began in 1914 and didn’t really end until after World War II.
Courier columnist Mikie Baker said that as a kid her favorite book was “Beauty and the Beast” because of the beautiful illustrations. “It definitely shaped my life as I’ve dated way too many guys that weren’t good enough for me,” said Baker.
It’s not surprising that Baker’s favorite reading includes lots of humorists. “I read Erma Bombeck and Kinky Friedman on a regular basis. Sometimes I grab a little Dave Barry or George Carlin to sharpen my skills.”
She also enjoys magazines like “Texas Gardener,” cooking magazines, plus “Texas Monthly” on occasion.
“The Medina Library has Nooks to loan out and I saw one yesterday and thought that was a cool new way to read. I’m waiting for Beta Version 3 when the price is $69.95 and it comes with a Snuggie,” said Baker.
Not averse to self-promotion, she added, “The book I want to read the most is ‘Gone Country,’ a soon-to-be-published work of non-fiction, written by a girl who’s funny - looking, Mikie Baker.”
Pipe Creek columnist and noted Chicken Car driver Doug White found a good book at an antique store. “I came across a really cool book while visiting my friend’s store ‘Treasure Hills.’ Big Al had all kinds of neat stuff. The book is called ‘The Wartime Scrapbook from Blitz to Victory 1939 -1945,’ by Robert Opie. His 59-page scrapbook of wartime Britain was ‘drawn from his own unrivalled collection.’ This book illustrates a unique period in history.”
Like many voracious readers, Vicki George, who writes the Helping Hand column for us every week, likes all kinds of books - mysteries, history, historical novels, murder mysteries, Bible commentary, the Bible, horror (but without too much gore, mostly suspense), medical mysteries, some science fiction, Christian fiction and some biographies.
Her husband, Bill, likes horror, science fiction, mysteries and some Christian fiction.
The best books Vicki George read in 2010 included “The Twelfth Imam” by Joel C. Rosenberg, “The Second Opinion” by Michael Palmer, “Intervention” by Robin Cook and “Boneman’s Daughters” by Ted Dekker.
Her husband read the whole “Earthborn” series by Orson Scott Card, “Wind From the Sun” by Arthur C. Clark, a couple of Dean Koontz books, “Acceptable Risk” by Robin Cook, and a Tom Clancy book.
He said, “Reading is my favorite indoor activity. I have always loved to read and carry a book with me just about everywhere. I have found it the perfect way to pass the time when I have to wait for anything. As long as I have something to read, I’m good.”
Bill George likes being read to, so he often listens to audio books while he walks. When the Georges travel by car, his wife reads aloud while he drives.
John Hegemeyer, director of the Bandera County Public Library, said the library checks out more adult fiction books than any other category. “Large print Westerns are also very popular,” he said. One novel that has proved consistently well-liked throughout the year for library patrons is “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett.
If you want to celebrate Book Blitz Month by giving, don’t forget the Adopt-a-Book program at the library. Stop by the front desk for information.
Books also make great memorials, so think about sending a book to your favorite library in memory of a loved one.