THE BOOK RADAR TEAM: Luisa | Tarah | Shannon | Cate
Luisa - Book Radar Founder

Hi! I’m Luisa and I’ve always been an avid reader and lover of books. Well… at least that is to say since I was about eight years old and my mom encouraged my sister, Shannon, and I to do a summer reading challenge. If we read twenty books that summer, she’d take us to a water park. (Parents, her incentive worked … probably too well! I was always getting in trouble for not doing my chores, my school, or staying in the bathroom too long haha, because of a book!)

That summer I started with the first book in the Boxcar Children series and kept in the mystery genre with Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, the Mandie series, The Accidental Detectives and others. It hadn’t occurred to me that there was anything besides mysteries, so the following summer when I found a historical fiction and realized there were so many other types of books with various stories, cultures, thoughts and the like, boy that did it for me! I tried everything; including an A Beka history textbook, a few volumes in the encyclopedia set we had and the dictionary (although I don’t think I even made it all the way through the “A’s.”)

So since I enjoy reading so much, you’re probably asking yourself if there’s something I won’t read. And the answer is yes. As soon as I got older, I realized there was a limit to what I could read. Not everything I saw at the library or on the store bookshelf was clean. And I was raised, and do still firmly believe, that it is important to closely guard what I ingest and let into my thoughts and heart. I was now confined to what was recommended to me by sources I trusted, or, if I happened upon an unknown title, to start it knowing that I’d have to put it down if it crossed the line. This is why I’m really excited about Book Radar and hope others who are in the same predicament find this service helpful! Enough said on that.

Ok, so while I enjoy reading a lot of different books, I still have a “like,” “don’t like,” or “love” mental button that I push after I’ve finished a story. Here’s what those buttons entail:

1. I can enjoy the book even if I don’t like the story. This thought does make sense - let me explain. I really admire sentences and paragraphs with fantastic flow and composition. Which is why I read Wuthering Heights to the end. Pretty lousy story, if you ask me, but articulation and word choice - great!

On the flip side, I could not force myself to finish Moby Dick, David Copperfield or Adam Bede because even though they are classics, highly praised by the masses, known the world over, found in every bookstore, both online and in your hometown shop, and lovingly studied and analyzed in colleges by fondling professors and adoring pupils, their sentences go nowhere for an infinitely long time, droning on about who knows what until the reader is wondering when the run-on-sentence will ever end and they’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel, which doesn’t look so much like a light as it does a little black dot. Case in point.

2. I love books that make me think or teach me. So political fiction such as Atlas Shrugged or 1984, are on my list along with documentaries, biographies and other educational publications. A few examples of these would be What Ever Happened to Penny Candy, Six Days of War and books by David McCullough and Joseph Ellis (who Tarah introduced me to).

3. I like to LOL. (And if ever I text you that I am LOLing, it’s literal). I love to laugh, which is probably why I like reading P.G. Wodehouse. Have you read his Damsel in Distress? Talk about LOLing; my sister even came into the room to see what I thought was so funny!

4. I don’t like cop-out endings. I know the first thing I said was that I can enjoy a book without liking the story, but the story is important too! Who doesn’t like a great plot with characters that you grow to love (and actually want for friends) and twists and turns that you didn’t expect. I’m no exception. Just don’t end it with “and then he woke up from a dream.” So lame!

5. Genres: I like Historical Fiction when authors take the time to study the era so I can take away a little bit of knowledge along with my story. I probably read Classics and Biographies the most! Stories that are solely romance, and that does include Francine Rivers and Janette Oke, I don’t care for. I’m not a Sci-fi geek … I just happen to like your mainstream names such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune … and only as much as your everyday reader. With the exception of Lord of the Rings, that’s probably the only Fantasy I really like.