Passing on the Joy

I am moderating a panel this fall at the at New England Crime Bake. It is entitled “High School Murder: Writing the Young Adult Mystery”. My panelists are Beth Kanell, Peter Abrahams, Kate Burak, and Kim Harrington. YA is a very popular sub-genre of mysteries right now, and I am so pleased that it will be a panel at the conference. I bought the books, and look forward to reading them all this summer in preparation.

sord1small1_bw2tBecause of this reading list and the genre, my nieces and nephews are benefiting from their aunt’s homework. My sister called me one night to tell me that B. spent two hours reading. The next day the reader herself called me, and let me know how much she loved Kim Harrington’s first book in the Sleuth or Dare series. She was thrilled that there are two more books in the series. And she asked for other recommendations of books to read. The sound of her voice brought me back to when I became a voracious reader myself. Was it Caddie Woodlawn? Or Nancy Drew? Not sure, but I do remember discovering how much fun reading is, and getting lost in books.

Do you remember when reading became a joy? When you realized that there authors who wrote a bunch of books you could devour? Do you remember the first time you dreaded finishing a book because you would have to say goodbye to the characters? Discovering that joy–one of the great moments in a kid’s life.

I read a lot, but I don’t always feel the joy any more. In fact, it is rare. I wonder if that is because I am a writer, and I am always looking at craft. Or because I don’t allow myself to just fall in love with reading. To make the time, and dive in.

So for the rest of the summer, I am going to learn from my niece, and find the joy again. I have a ton of books sitting on my Kindle, but am open to suggestions. Any titles you want to pass on?

[Note: If you are a mystery reader or writer, check out the New England Crime Bake. A great conference–purposely kept small. But there is still room.]


J.A. Hennrikus  is the Executive Director of StageSource. She has published several short stories, and is working on a novel. She is a huge social media fan, and tweets under @JulieHennrikus. She wrestles with allusions of athleticism, is an avid theatre goer and a proud member of Red Sox nation. Julie is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppies. She is a board member the current President of the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

13 thoughts on “Passing on the Joy

  1. I can’t remember when reading became a joy, I just always remember reading as a kid. Now, I find it harder to find the joy but that is because it is harder to find those books that truly carry you out of the present and into the story. So when I do find those books, I rekindle that joy. Haven’t had a book like that in a while so can’t pass on any titles!

  2. I know now why I give my words to my wife and even shan-heigh her into submission to read them.

    Can I say, as nicely as I can, that I lost the meaning within yours words and shut off reading.

    ‘Tx-RX minus noise’ as my Business England gentlemen taught me that espokes that he was a gentleman but of what era and from when did he speak.

  3. I remember not wanting to learn to read as I loved being read to, but as soon as I learned I discovered the joy of being able to read any time I wanted to. And my mother still read to me 🙂

  4. I wonder whether you have ever encounted Vanda Symon? I’ve only read one of her books so far, but I really enjoyed it. She writes crime fiction, so she is one of your sisters in crime, but since she is a New Zealander, I guess there’s a chance you might not have come across her work.

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