When I proposed this weeks topic - which as it turns out is something of a finale for the LBC - I specifically excluded the bible so as to take away the easy out for the uber-religious posters. Understand - I do not begrudge anyone their faith nor their religion but it has been my experience that it becomes an easy out for the faithful. I was hoping for a discussion of sorts on wjy folks like the type pf literature they like.
In my case my favorite book is called The Long Lavender Look by John D. MacDonald. It is the 12th in a long series that chronicles the American human condition - as seen through the eyes of self professed "salvage consultant" Travis McGee.
It's my favorite book because it opened my eyes to the ability of a good mystery fiction writer to effectively offer an uncannily accurate look at American society at the time. Warts and all. The adventures of McGee and his erstwhile sidekick - a gentleman called Meyr - a world renowned economist with a PHD in international economics.
I've read all 21 of the McGee series books numerous times and they never cease to entertain me. Some people are not appreciative of McGee's attitudes but remember his age and the times in which his stories were written. But, the quality of MacDonald's writing led me to authors like Dana Stabebnow - IMHO one of the two best of the current group of mystery writers, chronicling the human condition through the eyes and actions of people in Alaska and her protagonist Kate Shugak, Les Roberts and his Cleveland PI Milan Jacovich, Louisiana's Dave Robicheux - written by James Lee Burke, Stabenow's equal as a chronicler and story teller, and then there are the Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn novels of the late Tony Hillerman and many more,
Mystery fiction - when done right - is as true a look at the society of the time of the characters and stories as the so-called classics. And for my money few of the classics are anywhere near as much fun to read although Dickens and Twain certainly come very close.
As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, sadly the LBC is coming to a defacto end - life has intervened while several of us were making other plans. I jumped into the LBC pool for one simple reason - I was in the midst of reconnecting with and rekindling a friendship with Conrad - the Old Fossil - started back in the 80s when we worked together at a RadioShack Computer Center. We had a lot of fun and met come interesting folks there - from super peddlers like Mark Stout and our resident jefe Jim Kelso to Michael - oue-resident red-clad follower of the guru bagwan shree rajnesh - who spent most of his time typing and submitting resumes for other work. Good times. And as I said - I saw the LBC as a way to stay in touch with and get closer to Conrad. It was quite successful as we are now good friends - we've made up for lost time. But, somewhere along that journey something else happened - I became friends with a gentleman in Pune India and a terrific lady in Ireland. As I am half Irish Marie's perspective has been a fascinating glimpse into my roots. Then there's Delores and her strong Mormon faith. I enjoy our back and forth - she represents all that is right and good with the faith I rejected years ago for a myriad of reasons. And Paul - our resident author - always fun to read and one I'd seriously enjoy an evening in a pub with. Now Ramana. How on earth does a gentleman half way around the world in Pune India strike such a resonant chord with a guy in Ft Worth Texas? Simple - syncronicity. He knows of what he speaks.
So although there may not be a formal LBC I intend to continue following the members in their blogging endeavors. A need that weekly dose of sunshine and positivity that is Maxi and I enjoy the fish out of water Irish woman married to an Indian and the stories that generates as well. They're all way too much fun to stop reading.