Friday, November 5, 2010

fanatical friday

A good book is such a treasure. When I find one I like, I find myself becoming very enthusiastic about it and sharing it with everyone.

Back in June I read These Is My Words and liked it so much I felt compelled to write and tell the author. Believe it or not, she actually replied to my message. Though I am absolutely embarrassed by my amateur letter, I will post it here, along with her reply:

Dear Mrs. Turner,

I am sure you recieve thousands of emails and hardly have a chance to reply to each but I just finished your book, "These is My Words" and felt compelled to write and tell you how much I loved it! I realize it was first published over 10 years ago (actually the year I graduated from high school) but I had not heard of your book until I noticed it on my mom's nightstand over a year ago. The title was different and captured my attention. I had just recently finished a book and was looking for something new to read when I came across it again while searching my mom's book shelves.

May I tell you I bawled my eyes out when Jack died? You have a way of making each character come to life and I truly felt like I was witnessing the death of a dear friend or close relative. I love how you put the story in diary form. I felt like I was reading someone's personal diary from long ago and it absolutely drew me in. It only took me three days to finish "These Is My Words" and one very late night (2am). I could not put it down. I was too enthralled with the story.

I love reading historical novels and absolutely find your research fascinating. How cool to read old territorial newspapers and to picture what life must have been like back then. I live in Utah and grew up here. My dad is very much into history and we spent many a family vacation visiting historical sites around the state and also neighboring states. There is an American West Heritage Center here that my dad has spent many years helping put together and developing. I love to visit there and try to imagine how life must have been like. How wonderful would it be to actually go back in time and see for myself.

I also must mention that I too LOVE the actor Sam Elliot. My sisters have always teased me of how I have always found him attractive and wonderful. I didn't marry a cowboy but I always pictured the perfect cowboy being something similar to that of Sam Elliot. He is one of my favorite actors and I actually thought of him as Jack while reading the book. So I found it funny you mentioning him in "Set the Record Straight" at the back.

I have now ordered the other two books in the Sarah Agnes Prine series and anxiously await their arrival! Thank you so much.

Here is her reply:

Thank you so much for your lively email! I could hear the enthusiasm between the lines. It's always nice to hear from people who have enjoyed my novels, but your letter was so heartfelt it really caught me -- sounds like your whole family loves history. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have had only sporadic internet service until this last Monday.

I'm working on a new novel set before the Revolutionary War. It's going slowly.... slowly.

Best Wishes,

Nancy E. Turner

Another book I loved reading this summer was The Silence of God by Gale Sears. And guess what...I got to meet her. In the flesh. It was such a neat experience too. My family and I lived  in St. Petersburg so to read her book and have her mention different locations around the city made me miss it. She came and spoke at my aunt's Relief Society meeting. My mom and I were invited to attend. We got to meet with Gale Sears beforehand and told her of the connection we have to Russia. My dad had even written her an email after reading her book and she had remembered him from the email. She asked my mom if she wouldn't mind coming up during the meeting and sharing the Lindlof family's connection with an experience my dad had during the time he served as mission President there.
For those of you who haven't had a chance to read the book yet (because you MUST read it) it is about the Lindlof family who were the first members of the LDS church to be in Russia. In fact, they were the only members in Russia and were present when the land of Russia was dedicated in 1903. They were very hopeful regarding the growth of the church there but then the 1917 Bolshevik revolution happened. They were baptized in 1895 by an Elder Hogland who was a swedish elder. The Lindlof family had contacted the Swedish mission office requesting information about the church and asking for missionaries to come to Russia to teach them. So he went, taught and baptized their whole family.

In the early 90's any church could come into Russia to teach and set up there. But then in 1997 the Russian government, mostly persuaded by the Russian Orthodox church, passed a law saying that any religious group who wanted to be in Russia had to prove its existence in the country pre-revolution. In trying to secure the LDS church's place there, they came across the Lindlof family and was able to then prove of the church's existence in Russia. This is what Gale Sears wanted my mom to share with everybody.
The whole meeting was awesome and we felt such a connection to her. She signed our copy of her book and even added her email address for us to keep in touch.

Sometimes when reading a book I don't think much of the author. But with these two experiences, I will think more of who the author is and what they must be like.

Next book review: Prayers for Sale.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading The Silence of God right now. Loving it! I'll have to try the other one next.

LOVE your Disneyland pics! Especially the Mary Poppins cute!!

Trent Megan and Kids said...

Ok cute girl, I wondered if you keep a list of every book that you have read. I love your taste in books and would love to get more ideas from you.

JoLynn said...

How cool to know she personally responded to your letter! It was nice of you to compliment her to begin with. Way to go. I too read the Sarah Agnes Prine series and loved them! She is a great author.

Nells-Bells said...

megan -- i try to keep track of all the books i've read. i'm sure i have missed a few. i will try to post a review on a book once i've finished it. i'm almost done with tallgrass and still need to post my review on prayers for sale.