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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Question of the month

In this post, Olga Godim says:

 

"Periodically, BL explodes with questionnaires. It could be 50 questions or 5 or 12, and everyone pitches in, because we all want to talk about ourselves, express our struggles and thoughts and quirks. We want to share ourselves with our friends.

 

One of my online friends, Michael D’Agostino @ A Life Examined, came up with a blog hop Question of the Month. Once a month, he makes up a question, sends it to all the participants, and we answer on the first Monday of the month. This month, his question was:

 

What was the first book (or book series) you really fell in love with?"

 

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think it would have to be Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series.  They arrived at the perfect time in my life, when I was both eager to learn and desperate to understand.  Whether you agree with Clancy's politics or not, he had a way of writing his characters that really brought to life the complexity of honourable politics.  The truth that standing for anything has a cost, that because you stand for it doesn't make it more right that what someone else stands for, because right is subjective.

 

I'd read The Hunt for Red October my senior year of high school and I thought it was pretty good because I was obsessed with all things Russian, but I didn't love it because keeping track of all the ships and subs was a pain.  But as an International Relations major at University, I picked up Patriot Games next.  I've said before, this book had the single greatest impact on my thinking than any other book.  Finishing it, I was left with a whole different outlook on terrorism (and fanaticism); terrorists weren't just thugs: they believed.  They were wholly committed to their cause; their cause had all their faith and their faith was fervent.  But I also learned that conversely, to truly punish a terrorist is to treat him like a thug, a common criminal.  For society to acknowledge them as otherwise is what gives them power.

 

Aaannnnd I've totally digressed... sorry.   Suffice it to say I love these books; I never read them for the thriller aspect (and in fact have never read any other political thrillers), but because I wanted more of the political... philosophy, let's call it.  Liberal or conservative, morality is morality; ethics are ethics.  Jack Ryan's struggle with being a moral and ethical patriot was what kept me coming back, book after book.

 

I have lots of books I love and lots of books have made me think or feel.  But this is the first series that changed how I think.  Many will find it odd, but this ultra-conservative author made my thinking less rigid; he pulled me back from a philosophy of back and white, into the far messier but more realistic shades of grey where, I think, real truth lies.

 

And now I'm off the read about a pack of possibly homicidal nuns.  Because it's all about the balance.  ;-)