Dealing With End-of-Reading Melancholy

I just finished reading my 13th Jack Reacher book, and am feeling kind of sad. Is it because Running Blind included several innocent people being killed? Is it because Jack’s girlfriend Jodie was in possible danger? Is it because Jack visited New York City’s doomed World Trade Center in the 2000 novel? Is it because the roaming Reacher was implausibly living in a house and even (gasp!) paying utility bills as the book began? Well, yes — but I’m also feeling sad because in a few months there will be no more Reacher novels for me to enjoy.

It wasn’t until 2014 that I began reading the 1997-launched series, after several commenters here enthusiastically recommended Lee Child’s thrillers. (Thank you!) Since then, I’ve polished off roughly one Reacher book a month (but not chronologically; I take out whichever titles my local library has at the time).

The sadness thing? Now that I’ve finished Running Blind, there are only seven of Child’s 20 novels left for me to read — at least until the 21st comes out! I’m so addicted to the series — reaching for Reacher every four or five books (while making sure I don’t neglect more literary fare) — that I’ll profoundly miss it. Rereading is a possibility, of course, but that’s not as satisfying as a first read.

All of this is a long-winded way of introducing today’s column theme: As wonderful as it is to read fiction, there’s also some melancholy when one completes every published book in a series. Or when one finishes every novel by a great deceased author who will obviously write no more. Or even when one finishes a very absorbing novel lengthy enough to be called a door stop. I’m going to talk about that melancholy, and about how to get over it.

I remember how unhappy I was when finishing the seventh and final Harry Potter book in 2007. That fantastic series was over! 😦 But at least there were three of the excellent HP movies still to come. Another silver lining was rereading J.K. Rowling’s series within a two-month span, which helped me see clues and connections more clearly than when I read each of the seven books as they were published a year or more apart.

A different silver lining arose after I read 11 out of Willa Cather’s 12 novels. Those 11 ranged from good to great (My Antonia being among the latter), and I was feeling downbeat about nearing the end of Cather’s fiction-book canon. Then I started reading her last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, and found it to be such a dud that I suddenly had my psychological fill of that author’s longer works.

Still, I eventually satisfied my Cather craving by reading one of her excellent short-story collections — which is a way of easing the sadness of having none of a particular writer’s novels left to enjoy. I also turned to a Margaret Atwood short-story collection after reading all the great Atwood novels my local library stocked. In addition, one can turn to a writer’s poems, plays, nonfiction, and other works when the novels have all been perused.

With John Steinbeck, I found that reading three of his lesser novels (Cup of Gold, To a God Unknown, and Burning Bright) helped me move on to other authors despite the lingering glow from top Steinbeck books such as The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.

Long books? One example of a massive novel that felt sad to let go is James Clavell’s thousand-page Shogun, which wonderfully places a reader in another time and place (circa-1600 Japan) for many days. But my next book adventure — Fannie Flagg’s terrific Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe — soon had me immersed in another world.

Ultimately, the best way to escape the sadness of ending a particular literary “journey” is of course to start reading another great series, author canon, or novel. 🙂

Which series, author canons, and long books were you especially sorry to see end? How did you deal with that sad feeling?

(The box for submitting comments is below already-posted comments, but your new comment will appear at the top of the comments area — unless you’re replying to someone else.)

Two recent appearances:

This summer, I was filmed and interviewed for 20 or so minutes about my former life covering famous cartoonists and columnists for a magazine. I talked about Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”), Jim Davis (“Garfield”), Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes”), Stan Lee (“Spider-Man”), Ann Landers, “Dear Abby,” and others. The video, posted on Sept. 28, is from talented Canadian multimedia guy Dan St.Yves.

And last month I was taped for the “Robin’s Nest” show on Montclair, New Jersey’s TV34. The half-hour program began airing Oct. 2, and I appear in the first 10 minutes discussing my weekly “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column (which runs in The Montclair Times) and other topics. This literature blog is mentioned briefly on the show, which is hosted by the also-talented Robin Ehrlichman Woods.

I’m writing a literature-related book, but still selling Comic (and Column) Confessional — my often-funny memoir that recalls 25 years of covering and meeting cartoonists such as Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes”), columnists such as Ann Landers and “Dear Abby,” and other notables such as Hillary Clinton, Coretta Scott King, Walter Cronkite, and various authors. The book also talks about the malpractice death of my first daughter, my remarriage, and life in Montclair, N.J. — where I write the award-winning weekly “Montclairvoyant” humor column for The Montclair Times. You can email me at dastor@earthlink.net to buy a discounted, inscribed copy of the book, which contains a preface by “Hints” columnist Heloise and back-cover blurbs by people such as “The Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson.

81 thoughts on “Dealing With End-of-Reading Melancholy

    • Thanks, That Unique* Weblog! I just put “The Mists of Avalon” on my to-read list. Novels that “retell” a male-centric tale from the female characters’ perspective can be very interesting — with another example being Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad” take on “The Odyssey.”

      Sorry the related “Avalon” books weren’t better, but, yes, there are indeed many other great series and books to enjoy — before their impending end makes us melancholy!

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      • If you’re into that kind of thing, Dave, you might like to know that Stephenie Meyer has just released a new “Twilight” book from Edward’s point of view 🙂

        I’ve not read “The Odyssey”, however when I was at a second hand book store a couple of months ago, I found a graphic novel adaptation of Homer’s work. It seemed so bizarre that I just had to buy it. It’s a really, really long way down on my list of things to be read, but I had a quick flick through it, and am of the opinion that adapting “The Odyssey” into a graphic novel seems quite obvious.

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        • Thanks, Susan! I’ve never read the “Twilight” series, but it’s interesting that Stephenie Meyer played around with the gender approach. I have a vague memory of that also being done with “Fifty Shades of Grey” (which I also haven’t read). Not sure if E.L. James did that, or if it was a “fan fiction” thing.

          If done right, I guess a graphic novel version of a classic can work. There’s even a very short, illustrated version of Proust’s mammoth “In Search of Lost Time.” It stars a superhero named Madeleine (just kidding 🙂 ).

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          • Mmm, although Meyer did write a “Twilight” book from Edward’s POV, it was leaked online, and she gave up on the idea. What I meant to say above was she’s released a new book where Edward is the mortal, and Bella the vampire, hence a complete gender swap. And of course, I was just trying to be silly. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I liked the “Twilight” series, but they don’t belong in a serious discussion about literature. And I’ve stayed right away from “Fifty Shades” which is commonly accepted to be “Twilight” fan fiction anyway. Surely fan fiction based on fan fiction is just going too far!

            I don’t think just any classic could be adapted into a graphic novel. And I certainly wouldn’t be starting with Proust! But the characters from “The Odyssey” are kind of super-heroey, and I think it could work. Of course, as I haven’t read it, my opinion doesn’t really mean much.

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            • Oh, I see, Susan. Thanks for that explanation!

              I think it’s great to read silly fiction once in a while. I do that, too!

              “Surely fan fiction based on fan fiction is just going too far!” — GREAT line. 🙂

              Yes, I can see how “super-heroey” can work in a graphic novel. But these days, as you know, some graphic novels are pretty much deadly serious and reality-based. “Maus” and “Fun Home” are among the most prominent examples.

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              • Sorry, Dave. Seems a few of my online messages etc. this week have needed clarification. Must be reading too much, and not getting enough sleep.

                I’m impressed at your level of knowledge about graphic novels, though I don’t know why I should be surprised, as you seem to know everything about everything 🙂 I’ve read a couple of comic books over the years, but it’s never been a format that I’ve really enjoyed. Though of course, as with most things, there will be good and bad, serious and funny, young and old, male and female, etc. And when I said super-heroey, I wasn’t thinking that Odysseus should don a red cape, and go and save Gotham city. More that the graphic novel seems to be able to capture the larger-than-lifeness of the characters and the story. Super-heroey was probably the wrong word to use. But as it’s not really a word, I guess it can mean whatever I want it to, right? 🙂

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                • Thanks, Susan!

                  Some of MY comments need clarification, and occasionally I misinterpret the clearly written comments of others.

                  Reading a lot and not getting enough sleep — I can SO relate to that. 🙂

                  Actually, I only have a modest amount of knowledge about graphic novels. I haven’t read a lot of them, though I’ve read ABOUT a number of them.

                  “I wasn’t thinking that Odysseus should don a red cape, and go and save Gotham city” — that was funny! Maybe he SHOULD do that. Would love to see Odysseus in the Batmobile…

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  1. Oh, Dave, you make it sound like us bibliophiles need 12-step programs to overcome the emotional turmoil that we put ourselves through! I don’t think I’ve gone through melancholy over a book, but I’ve certainly missed characters after they’ve left me. And sometimes it takes me a while to realise that. I’ll be wandering around the house, feeling a bit lost, and then remembering that I finished “Gone with the Wind” a few days back, and I miss Scarlett terribly. Then I know that it’s time to find some new characters to become friends with for a while.

    And I’m kind of the same with Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series. Though the AMAZING ending generally makes me want to start them all over again. Much better than a 12-step program is knowing that they’re all on my shelf 🙂

    Not quite the same thing, but I read all of Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” books over the last twelve months, and am eagerly waiting for the next one. It’s not exactly grief at finishing the last book, but I MUST know what happens. I just hope that it hasn’t been ruined by the TV show.

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    • Your first line was very drolly put, Susan. Loved it! Yes, we’re all adults who can handle finishing a great book, series, or author canon without falling to pieces. Though one could listen to Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” at that vulnerable time… 🙂

      And that’s a very evocative point about having a delayed reaction when it comes to missing characters.

      Can’t say much about the Stephen King and George R.R. Martin series you mentioned because I haven’t read them. Yet somehow I miss them already… 🙂 (Seriously, I would like to read them eventually.)

      Thanks for your great comment!

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  2. Re Clavell’s opus: I prefer Junior Walker’s more concise and pointed and original version, and never did grasp why Clavell dropped the the ‘t’ from the title and went on and on and on.

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  3. Having read all the fiction he published, I moved on to the nearly-complete items found among Stendahl’s papers after he died. It will not be a happy day when I have exhausted his entire translated output, so I’m allowing myself much breathing room between each.

    Sad too to see the end of Lampedusa’s The Leopard– it’s the only novel the man wrote. Found a few sketches and false starts, and one nicely-wrought short story later, but not before reading a biography which contained a short essay on opera and its corrosive effect on cultural Italy (!– hilarious and thought-provoking). As a part of a course he designed to teach world literature to a cousin, Lampedusa wrote at length about Stendahl– this, I understand, has been published, though not, I don’t think yet, in English. Will, of course, take a crack at it when available, so for now, my sadness re both Stendahl and Lampedusa is attenuated a bit by the idea I have a little ways to go….

    On the other hand, yesterday I finished my favorite Nordic crime novel to date, Blind Goddess, by Anne Holt, and yep I’ve read Mankell and Edwards, and I am delighted to have learned there a 8– count ’em 8– Hanne Wilhelmsen novels in the series. 7 more to go! I am so pleased to have so many to look forward to curling up with.

    I note that the 7 I happily anticipate reading is identical in number to the Reacher books you have yet to see the end of. Attitude is everything.

    Of course, there is sometimes the case (though not in this case), as my darling Mandy puts it, that the glass is half-full of poison.

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    • Thanks for the interesting thoughts, jhNY!

      “The Leopard” (which you recommended I read) is indeed a BEAUTIFULLY written book that’s hard to see end. Such a shame it was Lampedusa’s only novel, and that he didn’t live to see it published.

      And great (with some impending sadness) that you’ve read virtually everything of Stendhal’s!

      Didn’t know about the Lampedusa-Stendhal connection. Greatness across two centuries.

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      • I see you make no mention of my mention of Anne Holt, Nordic crime author, nor of my faux-optimism re 7 left– in contrast to your sadness re the same number remaining of Reachers unread by you. Consolation: Child cranks them babies out at top speed, so, there will undoubtedly be an 8th, and even a 9th, before you finish the 7. Also, Holt is worth seeking out if you’d like to read something in the crime vein besides that tall guy.

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  4. Dave, I just had this feeling. A major mix of sadness and excitement. I read book four of the “Throne of Glass” series. I now have to wait a year to read book five. This is a very frustrating thing for me as I really enjoy the books.

    The hardest book for me to finish, no matter how often I read it, is “Robin Hood” by Sara Hawks Sterling. Its just so sad to read.

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    • felt this way about mr Mercedes – Stephen king I had to take a break from it. i was getting an emotional hangover reading it. The villain is just such a vile f***ed up person it is hard to read even though it is a well thought out book.

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  5. Excellent topic Dave..you are so much ahead of me I finished Lee Child`s ” Make Me” which was only my 6th of Jack Reacher.
    For me I am having hard time reading a book now, painters are painting outside..with them being in and out, but it is a beautiful day today and now I am on my way to the library.
    I have GSAW with me…with will be due next week , whenever I finish the book I will let you know.
    Have a great day and enjoyed your another interview.
    Please allow me..
    http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01411&video=250124

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, bebe, for your kind words about the interview and for pasting that link again. 🙂 I greatly appreciate it!

      What did you think of “Make Me” now that you’ve finished it?

      It IS harder to read when work is being done around the house. I experienced that in 2013 and 2014. 😦

      Hope things go well at the library!

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  6. Dumas’ Musketeer novels. 20 Years After is sad and bittersweet. I don’t recall if it was The Man in the Iron Mask or something else where Porthos is killed in a cave-in, Athos goes mad or dies of grief from the loss of his adopted son. D’ Artagnan is killed and only Aramis survives.

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    • Thanks for bringing up Alexandre Dumas, Joe! I read many of his novels a few years ago — including “The Three Musketeers” and its sequels — and they were so exciting and well-written that it was hard to let go.

      And, yes, the last “Musketeers” sequel is depressing as hell. But kind of satisfying and realistic not to have a sugary ending to the saga.

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      • But not all were so unhappily dispatched– heck, Annette had a career on beach blankets and Bobby danced for Lawrence Welk! No idea of whatever happened to Cubby and Karen, though…

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  7. I can currently reference the superb novel I’m currently engrossed in, a few dozen pages to home stretch, 568 in total. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I so don’t want it to end,so incredibly well written,such strata his characters have. Also read his excellent book Freedom but not a series. Same feeling, didn’t want it to end.

    I’ve read books by writers such as Nelson DeMille, “Gold Coast”good mob murder mystery, set on Long Isle north shore,hence the title, on my bookshelf but it didn’t make me want to necessary read his other works. Also, Jodi Picoult,she has I think 24 books under her belt. Read “My Sister’s Keeper” which was emotionally wrought,one sister dying,other being responsible to save her life with bone marrow donation. Recently see very positive reviews in thousands for her books, had randomly picked the one I read years ago from library bookshelf,not adverse to reading others at some point.

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    • Thanks for your interesting thoughts, Michele!

      I haven’t read “The Corrections” — though it’s on my list, thanks to you 🙂 — but I do remember not wanting “Freedom” to end. It actually almost lived up to all the incredible hype surrounding it at the time.

      Yes, with some authors, we’re perfectly satisfied to just read one of their novels.

      I also read Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” and found it mostly excellent (albeit very disturbing) until what I thought was a real dud of an ending.

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      • It’s odd. Dave. how Michele mentioned two of the maybe four books that I have thrown in the trash. This is not to denigrate Michele’s taste in books, because we are all different; even my sisters and I don’t always agree on what we think are good or even well-written novels. I picked up a copy of “The Corrections” at a library sale, and after just a few chapters I just threw it out. I did enjoy “My Sister’s Keeper” until the horrible ending, which made me throw out the book. I think I’ve mentioned before that when they made a movie of it, they did change the ending to a much more positive outcome. To top it off, Franzen and Picoult (along with Jennifer Weiner) have been engaged in an on-line battle about how fiction written by men are taken more seriously than women’s novels, that seem to be automatically relegated to “chick lit” status.

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        • Thanks, Kat Lib!

          Interesting to hear a different view about “The Corrections.” I’ll still eventually give it a try because I liked “Freedom” a lot; I’m curious what my reaction will be. You’re absolutely right about people having different tastes in books; that helps make life interesting. 🙂 (Oops — I used “interesting” twice in one paragraph, which is not so interesting…)

          The end of “My Sister’s Keeper” was indeed about as disappointing as it gets. One instance where a movie (I haven’t seen it) did right to make things more positive.

          And, yes, there’s unfortunately tons of sexism and condescension in the book world, the media, and almost everywhere else. 😦

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          • I think I read somewhere that women buy more books than men, so they are only hurting themselves when they are being condescending to women in their reviews or articles about books to be read.

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              • I am very excited to note that the upcoming weekend is going to be a reunion of us women who lived in the same housing development 50-15 years ago. I’m sure at some point one of us will ask what are you reading now, since most of my friends were great readers.

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                  • I just realized that I lopped off about ten years of my life — I actually have known most of these “girls” since kindergarten in 1954 until 1967, although some longer. And yet I remember them so very well! I doubt they do this any longer, especially since kids know how to read before first grade, but we were segregated to reading groups as to how well we read. I was always in the top group (the bluebirds?}, but I wonder how many of those supposedly below me turned out to be better writers or even more avid readers than I? Not that it really matters!

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                    • Well, a decade here, a decade there — it’s just 10 years. 🙂

                      But, seriously, it’s great that you remember those people so well and still see them!

                      That reading segregation you describe sounds like an early form of “tracking.” Not surprised that you were an excellent reader then, as you are now!

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  8. Had similar reaction when I reached the end of the Harry Potter series. One of my favorite authors, Tony Hillerman, passed away and left me with a deep feeling of sadness knowing I would never read another wonderful book by him though I have everything he’s ever written in my library and do re-read him. Your advice is sage: grab hold of another series and get to reading!

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    • Thanks, Jack, for the kind words and great comment! I hear you — the seven “Harry Potter” books were coming out for almost 10 years and were so riveting that it was hard to let go.

      I really must try Tony Hillerman one of these days. Several people, including yourself, have highly recommended his books.

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  9. I sailed the seas with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin for years while reading the Patrick O’brian series on the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. You are so right about that sense of loss at the end of the last novel.

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    • Thanks for the nicely stated comment, Almost Iowa! I imagine that was quite a series. I read “Master and Commander” on your recommendation a few months ago, and was VERY impressed. (That of course was the novel in which Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin met.)

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  10. Howdy, Dave!

    — Which series, author canons, and long books were you especially sorry to see end? How do you deal with that sad feeling? —

    I don’t have to deal with it — I limit all my reading to Michael Ende’s novel “The Neverending Story.”

    J.J. (Alias MugRuith1)

    P.S.: All right, I haven’t actually read Ende’s “The Neverending Story,” but a choice between the truth and a good line — OK, an acceptable line — is no choice at all. Meanwhile, I have seen a certain portion of Wolfgang Petersen’s film “The NeverEnding Story,” and, despite the presence of a so-called luckdragon paradoxically resembling both a flyin’ lion and Victoria Beckham, it did seem to go on forever, like Lamb Chop’s “The Song That Never Ends.” Damn you, Shari Lewis. Damn you to hell.

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    • J.J., your “The Neverending Story” and “The Song That Never Ends” lines — SO funny!!! 🙂

      Makes me think about how a novel on a Kindle could be made endless. When one reaches the (supposed) last page, more chapters automatically appear. The only way the reader could make it stop would be to buy a certain number of Amazon products. I hope Jeff Bezos gives me a commission on this idea…

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    • Re Lewis’ (my all-time fave): heard this one?

      Around the corner and under a tree
      A sergeant major said to me
      Who would marry you?
      I would like to know
      “Cause every time I see your face
      It makes me want to go
      Around the corner and under a tree
      (repeat forever, or until silenced)

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  11. Well Dave, it broke my heart many years ago when I finished reading all of Jane Austen’s six main novels, and I would walk up and down the aisles looking for some new piece of fiction that she had written. Usually there were only fragments of books or novels finished by other authors, such as “Sanditon,” or “The Watsons,” not the same thing at all. I usually just reread her books; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read each of them. I’ve also reread many times the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series, as well as many of Agatha Christie’s novels.

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    • I definitely hear you, Kat Lib. It’s tough when cherished authors such as Jane Austen only have a small number of novels in their canons. The Bronte sisters are also in that “group.” Of course, as you know, this happens when authors unfortunately die young, or write very slowly. And, yes, fans have to make due with fragments — 😦 — or a lot of rereading.

      At least Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers wrote many books. 🙂

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      • It seems that many people who comment here are Reacher fans. I’m still waiting for my brother or sister to bring me one of his novels when we have a mini-reunion at the end of the month. Some people who know me well don’t think I will be a fan of his books, but who does know for certain what I will like? I can go from a hard-boiled detective series to Agatha Christie’s more cozy mysteries without a problem.

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        • You do have nicely eclectic reading tastes, Kat Lib! I will be very interested to hear your thoughts on a Reacher book after you read one.

          Yes — a lot of Reacher fans in this blog, which is how I ended up reading Lee Child. Before that, I had only occasionally read thrillers (such as the legal ones by John Grisham).

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  12. I didn’t mean to put my first post where it landed. I got distracted and started reading comments before I posted my comment, and when I hit reply to one of your comments, my original post went there instead of to the top of the page. Does this make any sense? Oh well, la-dee-da, la-dee-da 🙂

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    • It does make sense, Pat!

      Sometimes comments that should end up at the top instead end up at the bottom because the box to post a new comment is near the box that appears when replying to a comment at the bottom. If THAT makes sense. 🙂

      And I enjoyed your last line!

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  13. Be still, my heart! You’re talking about my crush, Jack Reacher! The Liam Neeson of a few years back would have been my choice for Jack Reacher. Casting Tom Cruise was sacrilege, in my humble opinion. Lee Child himself DOES look a lot like I would imagine Jack Reacher would look. Maybe when Lee Child conceived Jack Reacher, they were the same age? In fact, I think you and Lee Child are about the same age and stature, Dave??? Liam Neeson is just a couple of years older than you both. Jack Reacher can remain perpetually younger because he exists at the leisure of Lee Child. It’s a pity that we can’t remain perpetually younger at the whim of SOMEBODY 🙂

    But Jack Reacher is not EXACTLY the subject of today’s blog. What books have I been sad about finishing because I had to leave the characters behind? Just last week, I mentioned the characters from Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday”. I have also missed every character that Fannie Flagg ever created. She really can write!

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    • I’m definitely going to give the Reacher books a try. If Liam Neeson had played the part, I’d have watched one of the movies by now — actually any movie he’s in!

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    • lulabelle, I thought you might like the Jack Reacher topic. 🙂

      Yes, Liam Neeson of a couple decades ago (around the time of his “Rob Roy” movie) would have been perfect for the Reacher role! While I didn’t see the Reacher film, I have a very hard time picturing Tom Cruise in that part.

      When the first Reacher book came out in 1997, Lee Child was just past 40 — which is definitely around Reacher’s age in some of the books.

      Yes, authors can slow down time for fictional characters in a way that real humans don’t have the benefit of. 😦 I don’t think Reacher has aged 18 years since the ’97 book. Maybe half that.

      John Steinbeck and Fannie Flagg are such great writers that one DOES sorely miss their characters.

      Terrific comment!

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      • But, but….even with so many Reacher fans in your blog …even though Liam Neeson would fit Reacher role perfectly Tom Cruise have purchased the franchise with Mr. Child`s approval. 😀

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        • Yes, Tom Cruise seems to have control of that franchise, bebe. 😦 Maybe Lee Child thought it was better to have the movie(s) made with someone ill-suited for the role than to not have the movie(s) made at all? Yet Reacher books are so popular one would think almost everybody in Hollywood would want it. Puzzling.

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            • The explanation for a LOT of things, jhNY. Interesting that Jack Reacher himself is not that concerned with money as long as he has enough for motels, diner meals, etc. Of course, he’s fictional…

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              • Reacher seems to habitually rob drug dealers whenever he needs cash– a neat trick, I’m sure, but fraught, in real life, with complications both mortal, legal and practical– if not ethical. His author no doubt prefers less complicated means of acquisition.

                By the way, on his website this month, Child touts two new books– one by his sister and one by his brother-in-law. Looks like writing is a family business.

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                • Very true, jhNY — plus Reacher takes the money of various thugs after they try to attack him and he instead knocks them silly.

                  It all seems much more moral than the way hedge-funders and “banksters” accrue their money… 🙂

                  Did not know there were other writers in the Jim Grant aka Lee Child family!

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    • I know what you mean, Roz. While I haven’t read Robert Parker (he’s the one who wrote the “Spenser” books, right?), the recent passings of certain other authors makes one sad about not only their deaths but about how they’ll never write a new novel. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, E.L. Doctorow, etc. 😦

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  14. In high school I read pretty much all of Steinbeck. Later most of Twain. Then all of Vonnegut, all of Stanley Elkin (a wonderful St. Louis writer, often neglected). Heck, I’ve even read all of Tammeus, but you haven’t, whoever is reading this, because my next book won’t be out until next summer/fall. So don’t feel bad about coming to the end of a writer’s work. It frees you for the next great literary discovery.

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    • “It frees you for the next great literary discovery” — well said, Bill, and so true. And those are some excellent author canons you’ve read through.

      Also — a hilarious line about your own books! 🙂 I read one of them, “Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans,” not too long ago — and it is excellent.

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    • Thanks so much, RedHeadedBookLover, for your two very kind comments.

      Great that you’ve read so many Reacher books! They are indeed hard NOT to read. It has taken a lot of willpower for me to also read other novels instead of just reading all 20 Reacher titles in a row. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I only wish that I could read all of Jack Reachers 20 titles in a row! That would make for one very epic book series marathon. I am curious as to whether you are interested in watching the movie adaption? I have seen the movie but mostly everything is different, especially the look of Jack reacher himself. I just find Lee Childs narrative so thrilling and hooking that I cannot put it down so you are one hundred perfect right when you say that it is “hard not to read” them! And you are so welcome! I came across your post which I found incredible and also very informative but then I checked out your blog to find loads of amazing pieces so thank you for being a wonderful blogger! (:

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        • Thank you for your very generous words about my blog, RedHeadedBookLover — and I enjoyed reading your blog, too! (I will read more of it tonight or tomorrow.)

          I haven’t had a strong desire to see the “Jack Reacher” movie (which I think was based Lee Child’s “One Shot” novel). And a big reason was the one you alluded to — Tom Cruise just doesn’t seem right to play Reacher, with one reason being that he’s so much shorter than the 6’5″ character.

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          • Thank you so much you are so kind! It is yes! And I completely agree with you. I saw it myself with great hesitance because Jack reacher in the book is 6’5″ with blonde hair whereas Tom cruise is famed almost for being a short actor but an actor who also has dark hair. So I really don’t think that portrayal was fair to the Jack reacher series at all! I have enjoyed talking to you tonight it has been fun! I always enjoy talking to fellow book lovers (:

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well said, RedHeadedBookLover!

              Yes, it would have been nice if another actor had played Reacher. Someone like Liam Neeson — though not Neeson himself, because he’d be too old for the part. 🙂

              Great talking with you, too!

              Liked by 1 person

                • A younger Liam Neeson would indeed have been perfect! Neeson still does some action movies, but Lee Child has Reacher in his 30s early in the series and in his 40s later in the series — and Neeson is now in his 60s. Actually, Child himself looks kind of like what I imagine Reacher would look like, but the professions of author and actor usually don’t share a lot more than the same first letter. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Thanks for another wonderful post, Dave. Off the top of my head, I don’t have anything to offer; this may be one of those weeks where I read everyone else’s posts and just learn stuff 🙂

                    When I do get a chance a read a Jack Reacher novel, which would you recommend for a beginner?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • You’re welcome, Pat! Glad you like the post!

                      The first Reacher novel — “Killing Floor” — is a great place to start not only because it’s the first but because it’s one of the best. I think “61 Hours” and “Persuader” were also A-pluses among the A’s in Lee Child’s series.

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