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I’ve decided to start a new weekly post that I’m calling Mention Monday.  Each week, I’ll review something that I think is mention-worthy.  It may be an author, a book, a book series, a movie… whatever I feel like.

For this first installment, I figured I’d start at the beginning. This is a little atypical for what I expect this series to be.  But since I’m reviewing things, I figured I’d start with my literary journey.  I remember being able to read before kindergarten.  It was mostly See Spot Run and those sorts of things.  When I was a kid, I guess I had a thing for bears.  I loved the Berenstain Bears, and one of my favorite was Arthur’s Honey Bear.  Although that was probably my favorite because it was my older sister’s favorite.  She was three years older than me, so, of course, back then, I wanted to imitate her some.  After all, every older sister was cool, right?

My other older sister, 6 years older, had different tastes.  I remember that she used to make up alternate endings to fairy tales for me.  Hers were always the best.  She would also read to me the novels that she read.  One of which was A Wrinkle in Time.  I think that’s the first real novel I had ever gone through.  I was likely too young, and honestly, I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember enjoying it.  My sister can read through an entire novel in a night.  A feat that still impresses me.  I think she was probably instrumental in my love of writing.

As I made my way through elementary school, I hopped on the bandwagon with all the other kids.  There was a tiny bit of Baby Sitter’s Club, a lot more Box Car Children, and a bunch of R.L. Stein.  Not so much Goosebumps, but the other books.  And I also loved Way Side Stories.

When I started sixth grade, I had changed schools for the sixth time.  I made a new friend, and she introduced me to Dean Koontz.  Maybe 11 is too young to read him, but I liked it.  So much, in fact, that from then on, with the exception of school assignments, a John Saul book in 7th grade, and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (yes, I was a nerd),  I read no one else. Of his books, I’ve read:

Dragon Tears (the first one I read)
Watchers (possibly my favorite of his)
Twilight Eyes (also really good)
Fear Nothing (this one and the next one go together, liked them both a lot too)
Seize the Night
Odd Thomas
Sole Survivor
The Eyes of Darkness
Tick Tock
Demon Seed
The Door to December
The Bad Place
The Servants of Twilight
Ice Bound
From the Corner of His Eye
One Door Away from Heaven
The Face

I think that’s it.  There are some that I wasn’t sure about until I read the description.  I still have a few more titles on my bookshelf that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

I’m not saying that all of these books are gold.  Some were not.  But for a long time I was actually scared to read anything besides Dean Koontz.  I knew that I liked his writing, and I was content with that.  Even when I felt that some books weren’t his best work, and that his earliest stuff was best, I kept at it.  But now, and no offense to him or his writing, because clearly it had a huge impact on me, but I feel a bit like I’ve evolved past his books.   Or at least, just his books.

It wasn’t until about a year ago, at the urging of my boyfriend, plus the discovery of Audible, that I started reading new authors.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a slow reader.  Takes me forever to get through physical books.  But audio books I can devour.  Plus, I live in LA, so, lots of travel/listen time.

Now, I’ve discovered a wonderful and varied world of writers.  I must have gone through, at least, 15 books last year.  I’m sure it’ll be more than that this year.

At first, I just read what other people suggested, then what I knew to be popular.  Now, I go slightly off the beaten path.  I find books that no one I know has read.  It’s gratifying when the book I found on my own winds up being the next one people are talking about.  It kind of instills a sense of pride in me that I’m exploring these other worlds, all on my own.

That was my journey to this point.  Now, I have the experience to start discussing a variety of authors and books, and to let you all know what I think of them.

So stayed tuned for more Mention Mondays.  Maybe you’ll discover something new, too.