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I read fiction mostly for escape and sometimes to learn about other cultures. I like books that are more plot-driven than character-driven. I prefer novels that are fast paced, tied up at the end, and for the most part, probable. I favor books with well-developed (and likable) characters, but it slows down my reading when there are too many characters to remember.

Often, I read mysteries (Nevada Barr, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch seriesJacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series) and suspense (Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie, Dennis Lehane). I read some literary (Run by Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, E. L. Doctorow) and issue-driven women’s fiction (Anna Quindlen's Blessings, Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper). I primarily prefer contemporary or where it starts in the present and relates to things in the past. I appreciate books where artwork or rare books are featured.

Nonfiction books I enjoy are memoirs by well-known people, travel, cats (Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper) and other animals (where they don’t die at the end), and true crime (especially theft). If possible, I prefer to listen to a book.

Other favorite titles include The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

I watch a variety of movies for entertainment. Primarily, I enjoy comedies that aren’t too crude, romantic comedies that aren’t too predictable, family movies, dramas (especially those based on true stories), suspense (particularly written by David Mamet or directed by Alfred Hitchcock), and some foreign movies. I usually watch current releases, but around the holidays I love watching classic movies. I am entertained by animated movies, especially those by Hayao Miyazaki and Disney.

I like movies that hold my attention, have a good story line, and are uplifting or thought provoking. I tend to watch all the Academy Award nominees unless they contain extreme violence or a disturbing subject. Favorites include Enchanted April, Dave, Hugo, The Usual SuspectsBody Heat, E.T., Moonstruck, Out of Africa, Top Gun, Babette’s Feast, A Fish Called Wanda, Babe, L.A. Confidential, and Home Alone.


My Favorite True Crime Books about Lost and Stolen Art: