When I first met him, one of the first things that attracted me to Ron over 30 odd years ago, other than the overwhelming bolt of lust that hit when he asked me dance, was the fact that he was a ‘reader’. Since reading has been a passion of mine from the moment I first read See Dick Run, it was very important that the ‘special guy in my life’ shared a passion in reading. Not only was he a reader, he was an open reader, willing to try books I had enjoyed – this was before my romance days. In the early days of our marriage we shared many the same books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, all of Terry Brooks Shannara stories, Piers Anthony Ursala LeGuin Stephen King and many more. Then slowly over the years our tastes started going in different directions. I started reading more and more romance and he read more and more horror with a bit of suspense thrown in and I think it’s been years since we read the same book. But we’ve both always remained avid readers.
Well, with the advancing disease and the massive amounts of meds Ron is on these days, he’s not really able to read much at all anymore and I know this has been eating at him. I offered to start reading to him and he jumped at it. I used to read a lot to the boys when they were small and really enjoyed it. And I’m pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself. I always loved it when it was my turn to read out loud in school. So our next decision was what book I should read. He recoiled in horror when I suggested a romance. I thought of the In Death books, but knew I would blush and stammer through some of the rather explicit love scenes – plus he hates that they have those in the books I read. He was trying to read a mystery book but that was out since he is still able to read some, so I’d forever be missing parts and he’d already read some of it and I think he still wanted it to be ‘his’ book. Then Lisa (my sister – I can mention her by name since she never reads my blog and she’ll never know I named her unless my other sister who does read my blog squeals on me) brought over two Janet Evonvitch books for me to read. Now Lisa hates all things romance book, but we agree on Ms. Evanovitch. We both love her books (as well as sister number 3 – what the heck –
So we started. Every day I would read a chapter or two of the book. I wasn’t sure if Ron was enjoying it or not. I’d ask every so often if he was and he would say “it’s good” in a rather nonchalant way. Part way through he asked what it was about. I kind of wondered about that for a moment and realized that since this was his first one and it does meander a bit, that could be considered a good question. I thought for a moment and answered well it’s kind of like Seinfeld, a lot of real funny stuff about nothing really. That answer satisfied him. I wasn’t sure if he was liking it, but he kept asking every day if I was going to read today so I think he did. In this one, Stephanie has decided to give up bounty hunting. Instead she decides to get a regular job in the button factory. Of course Stephanie being Stephanie, this job didn't even get off the ground. Her next attempt was working at the Kan Klean dry cleaners. Again, job issues, this time in the form of Grandma Macaroni. And then there was Cluck in a Bucket.
There were a few places I had to stop reading so I could laugh. The scene where Grandma Mazur and Grandma Morelli get into it at Stiva’s Funeral Parlor was one of them. I didn’t think I would be able to get past the scene where Stephanie is working at Cluck in a Bucket. Especially once her boss taped the headset onto her greasy hair. Took me about 5 minutes before I could start reading again. And the whole cello bit was a riot. This is vintage Stephanie Plum, with her car being blown up, hanging with Lula. I was tempted at the end to ask that most frequently asked question – Ranger or Morelli? But since he hadn’t had the whole background, plus he would think I was off my rocker if I even asked, I let it go. I’m a died in the wool Morelli fan myself. Ranger is a fantasy but Morelli is real. I was impressed when Stephanie came home sans underwear and Morelli believed her. Although I must admit a couple of moments there I almost went to the Ranger side. But nope – I’m loyal to Joe.
I know some readers have tired of this series; that Stephanie is still the same old, same old, that the Ranger-Morelli triangle is getting old. But this one worked. For both Ron and I reading it has been a light in a tunnel of darkness and for that I’m very grateful!
Next up on our Stephanie Plum reading list – Seven Up