The Reader – Books of Prey

I’m not exactly sure when the next stage of my reading development began. All I know is my mom was taking my sister and I to visit my older brother at Texas A&M in College Station.

I found myself in the rare moment of not having a book to read, having depleted the libraries of Michael Crichton and John Grisham. In not quite a bit of panic, I went into my parents bedroom, and started opening the drawers of my dad’s bedside table.

Lying there was Silent Prey by John Sandford. When I grabbed it, I didn’t realize I was about to start a reading adventure lasting 24 years, including 46 books.

Silent Prey the fourth book in John Sandford’s Prey series starring Lucas Davenport. Lucas is a detective from Minneapolis, and has been featured in over 30 Sandford novels. Silent Prey is also the first book in the series to feature the same bad guy.

After realizing this while reading Silent Prey, I immediately made plans to read it’s predecessor, Eyes of Prey. I then proceeded to read books two (Shadow Prey) and one (Rules of Prey), in that order. It took a couple of years before I finally got ahead of the releases with Mind Prey, the seventh book in the series.

The Prey books setup a funny routine between my dad and I. He would regularly bring books home he would grab in the airport while traveling for work. After he finished, I’d take a whack them. Many times, I’d discover it was part of some series, and I would start us back at the beginning of the series.

James Patterson’s Alex Cross and Stuart Woods’ Stone Barrington were two of those series which we eventually strayed from because both authors ran their respective characters off the rails.

Still, it setup a great routine where my dad and I read a LOT of the same books for 5-10 years. These always included the latest from Michael Crichton, John Grisham and John Sandford.

It was years later, after I bought him a Kindle for Christmas, that my reading diverged from our regularly scheduled reading. To this day, that Kindle is the most expensive Christmas present I have ever bought. You see, up until then, my dad was essentially buying most of my books, giving them to me after he was done with them. After the Kindle, I started buying books on my own.

It was around this time, I became a bit more adventurous in my reading. And it all started with this little book about chess . . .


The Reader – Welcome to Jurassic Park

In the summer of ‘93, four words changed my life. Welcome to Jurassic Park . . .

I was just returning from The Summit and my high school choir’s annual performance at our graduation ceremony. As we were picking up our things to go home, I noticed one of my classmates holding a book by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park.

“Wait, Jurassic Park is a book?!” Like many teenage boys, I was excited about summer’s most anticipated blockbuster, Jurassic Park, but I had no idea it was based on an actual book.

At the end of my sophomore year in high school, my reading was limted to the required English class reading and textbooks. I was most definitely not what you would call an avid reader.

There’s early in the movie where they feed the velociraptors.

That poor cow in the video was Jurassic Park the book in my hungry hands. I tore threw it like a raptor, and started grabbing every Michael Crichton book I could get my hands on. Congo, Sphere, Terminal Man, Eaters of the Dead, I read them all. It also didn’t hurt Crichton had another book, Rising Sun, coming to theaters that summer too.

While Michael Crichton got the rivers to run, it was another author hitting the silver screen that same summer that broke the dam. John Grisham was taking over theaters himself with The Firm and Pelican Brief, starring Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts.

My dad marvels about it to this day. Something broke loose inside me, and my life changed forever. However, there were only so many Crichton and Grisham books available. Once those ran out, this hunter had to find a new source of Prey.