Holiday Lights and Reading Lite

Tree 2014

I hope everyone had an amazing Hanukah and Christmas, with enough energy left over to enjoy the coming New Year’s celebrations.

As with all things in my life, Christmas Eve conversation eventually got around to the subject of reading and writing. I had dinner at my son and daughter-in-law’s house – a real treat because I didn’t have to cook. Over coffee in the living room, my daughter-in-law’s mom, Kathy, told me how much she enjoyed New Math Is Murder. The best part came when she told me exactly why she liked the book.

“It was easy to read and it felt like I was watching a movie,” she said.

I instantly knew what she meant.

New Math isn’t overcomplicated. There weren’t any deep, dark emotions to deal with and there was no need to figure out who was thinking what and why they were thinking it in that book. Even the settings were familiar – work, home, the supermarket, the Little League field . . ., not exactly exotic locales with unpronounceable names. The characters, like every day friends, neighbors, and family, were identifiable and relatable.

In other words, totally veg-out reading.

I sometimes read heavy stuff, the kind of books where you want lots of information. These kinds of books aren’t read for pleasure – but the subjects are those you want to delve into and learn more about. Often I’ll start to read a bestselling novel and think, “God, I’m in over my head with this one!” It’s a struggle to finish but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll muddle through to get to the end. Not that it was a rotten book. On the contrary, the book was excellent. It simply wasn’t the kind of book I was looking for and needed to read at the time – a read for the pure pleasure of reading and relaxation.

Which brings me back to my discussion with Kathy and her reading habits. The books she enjoys most are read for the pure pleasure of it – which I believe is the reason Cozies have gained so much in popularity. They’re fun! They’re funny! Sometimes they can be extremely clever, other times simple to solve mysteries. They all have two things in common – characters you love (or love to hate), and an air of mystery throughout the pages.

Cozies are always entertaining, and if you really get into a series, reading them is like greeting old, dear friends that you haven’t seen for a while and are dying to catch up with.

So, three cheers for Cozies – and many more for the New Year. Now go read something lite!

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