Readers, two weeks ago we spoke about a new work of fiction that has been brought to the marketplace called, Charlie Jones. But after careful consideration – to this writer – there was not enough said. In fact, now that the holidays have come upon us, we
are all reminded of the past and awaiting the time we have with family and friends. Just yesterday those of us lucky enough were able to spend some of that time catching up, recalling old stories about how Grandma made that stunning apple pie that we would all dream about until the next Thanksgiving came around; or, Grandpa sitting at the head of the table and telling us all about his Thanksgivings, when the turkey was smaller, the house was cozier, and the cars were actually made of metal. Which got me thinking about Charlie Jones.
Yes, this fits in with the world of books and fiction. You see, readers and lovers of books are very particular. There are so many genres out there to choose from, yet usually once a reader finds that perfect author, or that perfect book, they rarely like to branch out into other areas. Once a mystery lover, always a mystery lover – and the same can usually be said for readers of romance, science fiction, fantasy, and the ‘Stephen King’ world of ghostly terror. The one thing ALL book lovers have in common, however, is the fact that they love a good story. They love the characters that are invented, the cool plots, the unforgettable families, and romances that astound the senses.
As times change of course, books change. Books are altered to reflect the ‘mood’ of the world. Harsh things that happen on the news are then made fictional and placed into stories, as well as the horrific feelings of anguish and hate that have come from the past few decades of war, economic downfall, jobless rates, suicide rates, and issues that are facing the young adult population today. What Charlie Jones brings back to this writer (as well as any supreme book lover) is the ‘better days.’ Let me explain…
As a reviewer I receive forty to fifty books a month, willingly – happily – I read them all and feel honored that writers and magazines even care about what I think, let alone actually asking me for my opinion. Books are becoming more varied, young adult has flown to the highest of heights giving us some of the most amazing characters that have found themselves a place in history (Harry Potter, anyone?) But along with the amazing prose and the hard work done by authors, I have noticed that there are very few Charlie Jones’ in the world right now. Yes, the concept of ‘telling it like it is’ and showing the dystopian world that we may end up with if we keep going the way we’re going right now is a possibility, there IS also that world where families STLL sit around a table and talk.
There are still children growing up, facing growing pains, and making friends. There are bullies and broken hearts – but there are still HEARTS to be broken, and a great number of books are no longer showing this. Charlie Jones is a generational novel. Now, I’m not talking about some ‘goody-goody’ story. Certainly every age had their difficulties – from war to depressions to pain, etc. This earth has certainly never been a utopia of any sort. However, Charlie Jones offers a plot that is not completely focused on ‘bad news.’ Comedy, love, families getting through the hard times by relying on each other and believing in each other – these subplots are the core of what Charlie Jones offers to readers.
There was nothing wrong with Little House in the Big Woods or Little Women – there were reasons why these became classics. The books also had war, starvation, confusion, death – but they also had a wealth of family, kindness, love, survival, and the teaching of courage and strength in harsh situations.
The author of Charlie Jones is Ben Harrison. We have spoken about Mr. Harrison and the books that he has written in the non-fiction realm, as well as the music he has created, and the stunning art gallery he owns and runs with his wife. A comment that Ben Harrison made to me this week in regards to the holiday and holiday spirit was a story about how he and his family used to fly to Stillwater and Perry, Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. He said that even though his granddad – who taught at Oklahoma State – could make homemade peach ice cream, grandma was not exactly in her element in the kitchen. “She was a wonderful lady, very liberal even by today’s standards, but a terrible cook – so everyone would politely cover for her.” Part Indian, his grandmother lived to be 103. With the good of course, comes the bad – but having a personal tale helps all of us to understand that there are family members who have a great deal to teach.
I tell you this story and address these facts because this holiday you need to read a book that brings back the feeling of love, friendship, family, and fun – and that book is Charlie Jones. (http://amzn.com/B005R1AW2I)
Perhaps if we all picked this title to be our very own ‘holiday treat’ then we could all, for a split second, be reminded of how things once were and could be again, if we focused on something other than the negative. Enjoy the holidays with a friend! Check out Ben Harrison’s Charlie Jones for a fantastic plot, fun characters, and just maybe a new look at fiction.
Until Next Time, Everybody.
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