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Recommended readings are really just books that fall under the category of my favorites. Some opinions may differ on what constitutes these to be recommended to others, but all I've got is my opinion, so here it is. But maybe you will concur on a few of these.

One of the best books that I have read is "The Horse Whisperer" by Nicholas Evans. It was one that I checked out of the library, and it caught me by surprise. I was not expecting something so good! As a matter of fact, I love this book so much that I went back and got a first edition of it. I finally saw the movie made of this book; they did a wonderful job, but it is different at the end than the book's ending. The movie was one of the few (books to movie) that did not disappoint me, since I had read the book first. Amazingly beautiful scenery. I'm ready to see Montana! See this movie, but you must read the book! I read "The Loop" by Nicholas Evans, too. It was very good, though a different kind of book than "Whisperer". It is about wolves and wildlife management in Montana with a love story as well.

Need a book that will make you cry for joy, love, and heartbreak on every page? Then check out "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" edited by Jack Canfield, Marty Becker, and Carol Kline with contributions by many. Nothing gets to me like stories about animals, so I am not kidding about the crying part. I found I couldn't read too many of the stories at a time, because it was so touching. This one is an emotional heartrencher, but read it cause it is good for the soul!

One reading pleasure that I had looked forward to was "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier. It takes place in the area in which I live, and I was intrigued by that, but it definately lives up to the National Book Award merits. I sure hope he writes another book soon.

The true measure of how good an author and their works are is the "I would buy it in hardcover the moment is came out" test. Not too many fall into that catagory. Only three can do that to me right now. They are Diana Gabaldon, Clive Cussler, and Nevada Barr. They are very different types of readings, but all are wonderful! And I have read all the works of these authors.

Diana Gabaldon writes about Jamie and Claire. These books seem like historical novels, but it involves time travel. These books truly defy a category. It is the most romantic story! Claire is from post WWII who travels back to 1700's Scotland and meets Jamie. Those who have read these books will know that I cannot possibly put into words how great these books are and the rest of you should try it! They are in order:

  • "Outlander"
  • "Dragonfly in Amber"
  • "Voyager"
  • "Drums of Autumn"
  • "The Outlandish Companion" (non-fiction info on the novels)
  • "The Fiery Cross"
Clive Cussler has written a series of books that involve the main character Dirk PittŪ who works for the NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) branch of the government and gets involved in solving mysteries that tie into present day global dilemmas. Very high excitement level! Everything happens to this guy and I love it! Cussler has also started a new series co-authored with Paul Kemprecos with the characters Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, also employees of NUMA. Another great series with great adventures!

Dirk PittŪ Series Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala Series
  • "The Mediterranean Caper"
  • "Iceberg"
  • "Raise the Titanic!"
  • "Vixen 03"
  • "Night Probe!"
  • "Pacific Vortex"
  • "Deep Six"
  • "Cyclops"
  • "Treasure"
  • "Dragon"
  • "Sahara"
  • "Inca Gold"
  • "Shock Wave"
  • "Floodtide"
  • "Atlantis Found"
  • "Valhalla Rising"
  • Serpent : A Novel from the Numa Files
  • Blue Gold : A Novel from the Numa Files

The best series of books that involves the same character that I have read in a loooong time is the Anna Pigeon books by Nevada Barr. What a great character, Anna is a national park ranger that somehow gets involved with murders at several of her assigned jobs in different parks. The names of these books are as follows:

  • "Track of the Cat"
  • "A Superior Death"
  • "Ill Wind"
  • "Firestorm"
  • "Endangered Species"
  • "Blind Descent"
  • "Liberty Falling"
  • "Deep South"
  • "Blood Lure"
  • "Hunting Season"

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