If you ask people what's more rousing, mega fireworks displays and colorful festive parades or a good book, chances are that people will say the former (and it's also true that they are more interesting photographic subject matter -- as can be seen by the shots at the top of this week's entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts!). But the fact of the matter is that there really are books whose tales are so rousing (as in stimulating) that they've literally kept me awake turning their pages for hours beyond what should have been my bedtime!
A look at my collection of books will get one realizing that I'm a big fan of crime and detective novels -- with my favorite authors including many crime novelists such as Linda Fairstein, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Qiu Xiaolong, Sara Paretsky and Alexander McCall Smith. (I also like the three crime novels that Lisa See wrote and wish she would return to this genre.) But the book that I'd say is the most rousing of the ones that I've read thus far this year actually is actually not strictly a crime novel, though some crimes, including murders, do take place within its pages.
Pat Conroy's South of Broad did not get an overwhelmingly positive reception when it came out a few years ago -- but, in all honesty, I'm one of those book lovers that don't tend to read book reviews and news and, instead, tend to go my own way and at my own pace when selecting what to read and when. And for me, every book of Conroy's that I've read thus far -- including The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini, The Water is Wide and My Losing Season -- I've liked very much.
Funny but true: years ago, a friend of mine and I went on a road trip that took us from Philadelphia down to Beaufort, South Carolina. Along the way, we stopped at several cities and towns, including Charleston. While we were in the town that is the setting for South of Broad, we went and attended a parade at The Citadel, a military college whose existence I first learnt about via The Lords of Discipline and was curious to see for myself as a result.
The parade by The Citadel's cadets was very interesting -- and rousing, even. So positive did we feel about it and the place that afterwards, like pretty much every other person in the crowd that day, we rushed to The Citadel's shop afterwards to get souvenirs associated with that institution. And to this day, I still have the key chain I got there, and use it too! :b