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When Old Favorite Books Still Deliver

Do you have an author that you still love after all these years? 

Reality Books Pauline Baird Jones

Sometimes revisiting the past, comparing memory with present reality, is a painful process. I know when I visit home, it all seems so small. It’s not a shock really. I was a lot smaller when I lived there, but it still surprises me. I think I make adjustments in my memory when I’ve been away from home for some time.

It can happen with books, too. I’ve tracked down childhood favorites and found some still deliver delight, while others, not so much. Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, even Jade by Sally Watson, still carry me back to remembered delight. I’m a little sad when I pay a visit and realize that some books were written for who I was, not who I am. 

One author that I still love, love, love, is Georgette Heyer. She not only gave me hours and hours of delight, she—IMHO—taught me to write. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, reading her was a Master Class in writing, particularly in character creation. When I need comfort, when I need to smile, when I need the familiar, I pull one or more of her books off my keeper shelf and browse my favorite passages.

When I was lured (by Richard Armitage and Audible) into trying Heyer in audio, I got an unexpected benefit from this new adventure in “reading.” Having someone read her words to me has resulted in a greater appreciation and enjoyment of her word craft. 

Now that all her books are out in audiobook, I have fun just browsing for who I want to “read” to me at bedtime. This is the first line from The Corinthian: 

“The company, ushered by a disapproving butler into the yellow salon of Sir Richard Wyndham’s house on St. James Square, comprised two ladies and one reluctant gentleman.” 

Heyer’s books often begin quietly, but they deliver well-crafted stories and delightfully quirky characters. They are definitely in the “old school” vein of writing. The stories build slowly and there is a lot of attention paid to character development, even for minor characters. 

But if you hang in there, you’ll find yourself smiling, and sometimes, even laughing with delight. 

Do you have an author that you still love after all these years? 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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