Books for adults
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. For some reason, I had never read this wonderful, classic tale, written in the 1940's but set in Brooklyn in the early 1900's. I loved it. A beautifully drawn portait of a time and place, filled with memorable characters.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by Matthew Dicks. I have never read a book quite like this one, and I loved it. The main character is eight-year old Max, a boy suffering from autism. The only person Max really trusts, and who really understands him, is Budo, his imaginary friend. But here's the kicker: it is Budo who narrates the story. Intense, richly-imagined, and heart-rending.
Books for young people
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Sort of 'tween book, for advanced middle-grade readers or new young adult readers. Set in England, 13-year old Conor O'Malley must deal with his mother's illness, a grandmother he hates, bullies at school, an absent father, a horrid nightmare, and the monster that appears outside his window at night. A powerfully written and emotional story.
The Distance to Home, by Jenn Bishop. A baseball story, but a lot more. Quinnen Donnelly (love the name) is an 11-year old girl, a pitcher on her Little League team and an undying fan of her home town minor league team. But Quinnen is haunted by a tragedy she believes she caused. I wish I had written this book!
Like most writers, I'm a reader. Always have been; always will be. I read fiction, non-fiction, good books, bad books, books for adults, and books for young people. Books give me knowledge, pleasure, insights, and escape. Books take me places I’ve never been. Books help me better understand the world and the people in it. So I keep reading. And here, I’ll share what I’m reading with you.
William David Thomas