By R.J. Harlick
What's the last book that made you cry? Laugh out loud? Quiver with fear?
Cry, laugh, quiver. It’s a rare book that can evoke such a strong emotion and a rare author who can write such a book. I’ve lost count on the number of books I have read since I first started reading as a child, but the number that made me cry, laugh or quiver I can probably count on one hand.
Though I seldom read heart breaking romances, I am a sucker for a good one, particularly one that will make me cry. I suppose the first to produce copious weeping, and boy, did I shed tears, was Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, which I read as a teenager. I can remember devouring the big, thick book with a box of Kleenex constantly at my side. Love Story by Erich Segal was another romance that required the box of Kleenex as did The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. All wonderful tear jerkers.
Getting me to laugh is a harder challenge. I don’t tend to read humourous books, mainly because they rarely make me laugh. Humour is so subjective. What one person finds funny another finds boring. But I still remember the funniest book I’ve ever read even though it was probably forty years ago. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat. It made me laugh so hard I cried.
I tend to stay away from books that will get me quivering with fear. I’ve never read a Stephen King book for precisely that reason. I usually read just before going to sleep. I worry if I read too scary a book, I would end up having nightmares and would spend the entire night jumping at every little sound. So I’m afraid I have no candidates for quiver. I don’t even like to watch scary movies anymore, although I did as a child.
I’m off to the sun and fun of Phoenix tomorrow at the crack of dawn to attend Left Coast Crime. At least I hope so. We have another major snow storm coming our way, so I’m praying it behaves itself until after I am winging it south.
I’m going to be busy, starting with the International Authors Evening at Poisoned Pen Bookstore tomorrow night February 24 from 7:00 pm to 8:00. There is going to be a murder of us Canadian crime writers there along with some Danish ones and a few American ones too.
I’m looking forward to my panel on Big Fish in a Small Pond on Thursday February 25 from 1:30 pm to 2:30. With Dana Stabenow as the moderator it promises to be a lively discussion.
Friday from 6:30 pm to 7:30, you will get to meet myself along with the rest of the Canadian gang at the Crime Writers of Canada reception. There is a lot of us this year. You’ll get a chance to test your wits and to win a prize.
On Saturday you can join Barbara Fradkin and myself for afternoon tea along with some uniquely Canadian goodies. This will be from 3:00 pm to 4:00. It is part of the author connections LCC is offering this year. You can reserve your spot here
If you are going to LCC, please drop in and say hi. I'd love to chat with you.