In Search of a Good Book

Monday was Labor Day, and I wanted to take it easy. It had been a packed week, it was time for a break, and I desperately wanted to collapse into a recliner for several hours with a good book. The only problem was, I couldn’t find one I wanted to read.

There are lots of non-fiction books out there and I have several that I’m currently wading through, but this was a holiday and I wanted to escape into an exciting, well-written page-turner. Since the library was closed, I turned to their online collection. (I love that you can choose and download a book from home!)


The first problem was that the books that caught my eye weren’t available. I already have seven books on hold, with weeks to go before it’s my turn to check them out. I was looking for something I could read now. I clicked on “Available Now” and continued searching.

For most of my life, I’ve been a science fiction fan. I’m totally hooked on aliens and starships and exploring other planets. Our library has a category called “science fiction” but for some bizarre reason, they’ve decided that they need to include all the books on vampires, zombies, and other undead creatures. We have a “horror” section too—why not put them there?

I do not want to read books about sparkly vampires or hunky warlocks. I do not want to fill my mind with books about demons or dark gods. Yes, there is evil in the world, but why wallow in it?

Giving up on my favorite topics, I turned to “historical fiction.” Maybe trying something new would open up more options. But apparently all that happened in the entire history of the world was that demure but secretly passionate maidens with heaving bosoms were enticed and ultimately seduced by (pirate/soldier/black sheep) rouges with bare chests.

I’m not a fan of romances, but I understand that a lot of women like them. However, many of these (mostly newer) books were far past being romances. It was thinly veiled pornography. Consider these descriptive blurbs:

“… the scorching hot first book in a thrilling new series …” “If she will share her bed—and her body—with him, Dethan will save her city….”

Or how about Sexy Beast V: “They’re primed and primal, untamed and unstoppable, always ready to go further, harder, longer to bring a woman pleasure that’s wild, fiery, and out of this world.”

Note that anyone can download these books; there are no age restrictions, and no one can see what you’re doing.

I spent several hours digging through page after page of book descriptions. I found books about greed, books about lust, and books where the plot depended on someone lying, cheating, or stealing. And the entire genre of murder mysteries depends on somebody being murdered. I finally realized that most books are about sin.

I understand that to write fiction, you need a problem of some, an obstacle that the hero or heroine needs to overcome. That’s fine—it’s real life. But is it really necessary to focus primarily on the evil?

In desperation, I checked out Christian Fiction. (Is it only our library that has this category?) On the very first page of titles, I ran into books such as A Match for Addy (Addy is clearly Amish), A Wife for Jacob, and Heaven Help Heidi. Oh joy, more romances. At least these won’t be pornographic.

I did finally find a book to read. It has aliens, lots of spaceships, and a mysterious Void where a permutation in the laws of physics permits lots of creativity on the part of the author. I’m enjoying it, more or less.

Now I’d appreciate some help. Can you recommend a good book? I prefer action and adventure, but nothing that’s supposed to be scary. I like books that make me think. Right now I’m looking for fiction, but I read tons of nonfiction too. If you’re so inclined, look for me, Leslie Holzmann, on Goodreads to see what I’ve already read. And if you’re looking for some recommendations, that’s where you’ll find them. Thanks!

4 thoughts on “In Search of a Good Book

  1. I just read an amazing story which I really liked..oh….. I just found out (as I went to find the title in english) it’s a book I must have read ages ago… to kill a mocking bird…. I always thought I had read it…I read it in German and somehow it touched my heart… The title was so different that I didn’t have my inner door closed for the story…Maybe my age is what made it good:). It is a powerful beautiful story which is up to date even today!

    • Thanks Ruth, yes, that is one of my favorites. It’s not my usual subject matter, but the book is so well done and so thought provoking that the genre really doesn’t matter. Here’s a little interesting bit of trivia—in a survey of American librarians’ favorite books, guess which book won? Yup—To Kill a Mockingbird!

  2. Shadows of Self (Mistborn) just came out by Brandon Sanderson. It probably has a long wait though. Haven’t read it yet, but I would bet it’s awesome because everything I’ve read by him is.

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