Lifelong Reader Linda Alsop

This post is part of our Guest Picks series, featuring members of our library community sharing their favorite books and movies.

My name is Linda D. Alsop, and I am a lifelong resident of Spotsylvania County. Reading has been my all-time hobby/pastime since I was a little girl. My mother started me reading, and I have been devouring books ever since. I have added audiobooks, in their many formats, and this allows me to read/hear more books. I usually am listening to an audiobook in my car and another one in my home, while also reading a good, old “hold-in-your-hand” book. Books allow me to “visit” other places in my mind and imagine myself there.

My favorite authors are E. B. White, James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and John Grisham. As a child, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little were my favorites. I have read them numerous times. Sue Grafton’s A-X mystery books are great. I cannot wait for the last two, Y and Z. Since I think I have a lawyer somewhere inside me, I love reading John Grisham’s legal fiction books. My all-time favorite author is James Patterson. His books about the Cross family are spellbinding. I am already on the wait list for the latest book in the Cross series—Cross the Line.

Where the Snow Branch is located now used to be a school. When I went to that school, the library was in the same location, and I worked in the library during my study hall period. Talk about a time in my life coming full circle. The Snow Branch holds a special place in my heart.

I always said that when I finally retire I am going to volunteer in the library, so I can read all the new books first. I don’t know how much volunteering I will get done since I will be reading every chance I get.

Here are some of Linda's favorite books:

Lilian Braun’s cat stories are awesome. I enjoy reading about the cats that are treated like humans. In this story, Koko, the cat, figures out the murder mystery before the human. Koko is an exceptional cat with exceptional detective abilities. I like all Lilian Braun’s books about the cats and their exciting lives. Also available in print and to download on audio.

I have always liked this book because Charlotte, a spider that no one would normally notice, takes on the job of saving Wilbur’s life. Wilbur, a pig with a predetermined end that was already set in motion, is saved by Charlotte. Classical underdog wins story. Also available on audio, as an eBook, and in a Spanish language edition.

Almost all of the Maeve Binchy books are a joy to read. In this particular one, the residents of Chestnut Street each have their own story to tell. You get a peek into each one of their lives and in the end they all come together to help each other. Truly what a good neighborhood should be about. A nice, easy, pleasant read. Also available in print.

This book was about a prisoner, who had been released from prison to a half-way house, who confesses to a church leader about a murder that was committed many years ago. Time is of the essence because someone else is about to be executed for the murder. What I really liked about this book is that it really made me think about the death penalty. There were times that I could not even listen to it. Also available to download on audio, in print, and as an eBook.

I liked this book because the title, while accurate, has a whole different meaning once you hear the book. The story is about a woman who rides the train and one day witnesses what she thinks is a crime, and then she goes about proving a crime was committed. I was held captive to the end. It did not turn out the way I thought it would. Also available to download on audio and as an eBook.The Girl on the Train

This book is one of my particular favorites because Alex Cross is called out at Christmas time to deal with another police crisis and trying to find who is stealing from the collection box at church. I liked this book because, number one, Alex Cross stories are some of my favorites, and this particular one happening at Christmas really was heartfelt. A good holiday read. Also available in print.

This book was about a group of siblings, two brothers and two sisters, who were dependent on a family nest egg to get each one of them through a personal financial disaster. Rather than depend on themselves, they are waiting to receive the nest egg. Because of the turns and twists of life, when they finally can get the nest egg, it is not what they expected. It was like a counting-your-chickens-before-they-hatch scenario. Also available in print, as an eBook, and to download on audio.

How ironic is it that the sons and daughters in this book despise the wealth their parents have acquired, but they continue to live the wealthy lifestyle using their parents' money? In the end, they realize the money and the things you can buy are not the most important things in the world. I love books where the people in the story evaluate their morals.

This audiobook is about a reporter, who had been robbed in her own home, who takes a job reviewing a new luxury cruise liner. She ends up unknowingly stumbling onto a murder aboard ship. Because this was an audio book, the hearing of this was spellbinding. It had me gripping the steering wheel most of the time I was listening to it. It has a lot of twists and turns to finally find who did it. Also available to download on audio, in print, and as an eBook.

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