Thursday, July 28, 2016

Time Out...for Reading

by Janice L. Dick

It’s summertime here in Canada, and thoughts of summer bring to mind pictures of people lounging in the sun, reading. I read all the time for many reasons, but sometimes I like to give myself the gift of reading guilt-free, just for fun. After all, reading has always been my most enjoyable non-writing activity.

Looking back to my youth, I loved the Nancy Drew series. Two main genres that most intrigued me at that time were mysteries and horse stories. (I was fortunate to live on a farm with horses, so that was a dream come true.)

In high school, I discovered classic novels, including Russian titles such as Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov (didn’t ever get through that last one).

When my children were young, I couldn’t find as much time to read, settling for short books on how to keep your sanity while parenting young children. And children’s books, of course.

Then I discovered Bodie Thoene. She was the author who inspired me to venture into writing. I found her books bold and intense and impressive, and wanted to write like her. (I’ve since realized that no matter what books and writers I admire and emulate, I still must find my own voice and style.)

My current interests vary widely. I have always loved historical fiction, and I should, since that’s primarily what I write, but I also enjoy good contemporary fiction. I’m on the library committee at our church, so I get to read lots of different Christian authors: Jeanette Windle, Joel C. RosenbergHeather Day GilbertPatrick W. CarrTerri Blackstock, James Scott BellAngela HuntJill Eileen SmithDani PettreyDee HendersonSiri Mitchell, to mention a few.

photoMy preferred secular books are Alexander McCall Smith’s The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, Alan Bradley’s Flavia deLuce series, and Kate Morton’s novels. I also stumbled upon Lorena McCourtney’s Ivy Malone cozy mysteries, which I love. Add to that my complete series of The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun, which I’ve read and re-read for easy, engaging entertainment.

I could go on, but I’d love to know what some of your favourite titles are. What do you read just for fun?


  1. I recently read a quote (and I can't remember where!) that writers should read for two hours for every hour they write. And, of course, Stephen King has some decided opinions on the competence of "writers" who don't read.

    My favourite authors? Too many to list. And I have 800+ reviews on my blog of great, good, and not-so-good Christian fiction. I'm recycling the reviews of my favourite books on my author blog (, and there are some names you'll recognise there, including Lisa Harris, Narelle Atkins, Heather Gilbert, Cathy Gohlke, Frank Peretti, Brandilyn Collins and Kara Isaac.

    1. Hi Iola, I enjoy reading your monthly reads post and wish you listed all the books you read in the month, not just those you've reviewed on your blog.

  2. Hi Janice, I love these sort of posts. It's funny as keen readers we don't share more of what we're reading with each other on a blog like this.

    I love your variety in genre. I've become like that as I've got older. For 20 years I almost exclusively read thrillers or spec fiction but have now discovered the joy of romantic suspense, rom-com, historical & Biblical fiction. I recently read my first Thoene novel, "Jesus Wept" which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    I also read a lot of bios (mostly sports and musicians) and I'm a big fan of Clive Cussler (I own everyone of his novels) and Daniel Silva's Gab Allon series is very good.

    Thanks again, Janice for sharing your favourites with us.

  3. Janice, I remember filling my library bag with Nancy Drew books, and reading them all very quickly. My tbr list is very long, and I wish I had more time for reading. Enjoy your summer reading. :)