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Fighting the Cartel takes A LOT of mental energy; as aside from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, every second is consumed by “battle.”  Consequently, I require “defense mechanisms” to slow my neurons and provide mental sanctuary.  One is soccer; which I play nearly every day; and another is “THE LOST ART OF READING” – which thanks to my Kindle, enables reading on the Stair Climber.

I have always been an avid reader; and now that I write for a living, I appreciate great authors that much more.  It’s sad to see society declining so rapidly; as for many, books have been replaced by video games, violent sports, texting, and gossip.  However, for the precious few interested in enlightenment, NOTHING beats a good book. Heck, I’d venture to say a good book exceeds the “high” achieved by any of the aforementioned activities.

Over the years, I have read hundreds of books; but like any avid reader, several authors stand out.  Right now, I’m ravenously reading the seven-book Dark Tower series by Stephen King; easily, the greatest horror writer of all-time.  Whether in print, on TV, or the big screen, King is the ultimate FEAR MASTER.

Reading the Shining was just as good as watching Kubrick’s movie version; as well as the 1997 TV mini-series that more closely mirrored the book’s premise.  Carrie, Creepshow, Dolores Claiborne, Misery, Storm of the Century, or Pet Sematary; you name it, and he’s scared you with it.  Not to mention – his famous NON-HORROR stories, like the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption!

Another favorite is Pat Conroy, a South Carolina born-author who writes only about South Carolina; including two of the best books I’ve ever read – Beach Music and The Prince of Tides).  Then there’s James Michener, who created the “historical fiction” genre; Ken Follett, whose multi-book sagas are equaled only by those of James Clavell; Dan Brown, the genius behind the DaVinci Code and other “secret society” fiction; Frank McCourt, the poor Irish immigrant with a penchant for translating human misery to compelling reading; and for plain and simple action/adventure, Long Island’s own Nelson Demille.

Historically speaking, there are too many “greats” to be listed in a simple RANT.  Irrespective, my “Lifetime Achievement Award” goes to Jules Verne; an Einstein-equivalent intellect who chose science fiction as his path to immortality.  If you think this description is too grandiose, read From the Earth to the Moon and get back to me.

There, that was simple.  Just writing about books warmed my heart; taking me to the same world I enter each time I turn on my Kindle.  Hopefully today’s youth (as Gerald Celente would call them, “Generation Eff’ed”) will let go of their iPhones long enough to understand the joy, understanding, and education provided by “THE LOST ART OF READING”; as no form of entertainment so fully bathes the soul.


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