Today, according to the Writer’s Almanac, is the birthday of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Anne Tyler, she of The Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons. Today’s entry included a quote from her: I want to live other lives. I’ve never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” Aha! That struck a note! Reading is my way of making other chances, of living other lives in other worlds, and, especially now when my traveling days are dwindling down to a precious few, of learning about those worlds.
Strangely enough, when I read another life, I don’t want to read it in the first person, and I don’t want to read it in the present tense. Before I choose a book I have to flip through to the first pages to be sure I’m getting third person, past tense. Nowadays, I can go to Amazon and “Look Inside”. Saves me a lot of aggravation.
When I read another life now, I have certain eras in which I’m interested. Years ago, when I was much younger, I was a Sci-Fi and Fantasy aficionado: Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey. I was looking forward. Although I do love a mystery from any age at all, today, l suppose, I’m looking back: anything Medieval, Renaissance, Regency, but nothing Victorian or later.
Why? I’ll tell you: I don’t know!