flagIt won’t come as a surprise to anyone in the U.S. that Sunday marks a very important anniversary; it’s been 10 years since September 11, 2001.

Our world changed in so many ways that day.  Never again would we casually run to the airport to catch a flight.  We eyed strangers or those who looked different warily.  We accepted curbs to our civil rights that would have been unthinkable just days earlier.  To get an idea of how drastic it all was, I remember that the summer prior to 9/11, the big news was the disappearance of Chandra Levy (a big story here in D.C.) and multiple shark attacks.

In those first weeks after 9/11, I don’t think I did much reading since I was too caught up in the 24-hour news cycle.   Then, thankfully, I got my hands on a review copy of The Fiery Cross and I was lost in the adventures of Jamie and Claire in the new world.

My memories of that book are very tied up with that time.  Others said that there was too much time spent with Brianna and Roger (I agreed) and Claire’s medical experiments (I didn’t), but for me the book was a welcome passport to a new and different world.  I loved it.  But, more importantly, I needed it.

As the world settled down, I gradually got back into the reading patterns that were so familiar to me. Historicals began a resurgence that would last for years because publishers felt that readers wanted to escape into happier times.  That certainly held true for me.

But, interspersed now with historicals, I’ve eased my way back into contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but with the latter, there is a difference.

I now have zero tolerance for books with a terrorism theme or subtext – most especially if the book is badly done.  I give Brockmann a pass, however, because her books seem more realistically done than others.  When the attack against Bin Laden happened, I actually felt as if I had some insight into the men who were our national heroes.  And heroes they are.

There’s another way my reading life changed – perhaps, forever.  I have no interest – as in zip, zero, nada – in the current crop of dystopian novels.  I live in Washington, D.C. and the apocalypse is something I fear.  It’s too real a possibility for me to be able to “enjoy” a post-apocalyptic fictional experience. And, frankly, I just don’t see that changing.

As we all prepare for the anniversary, I’m wondering if your reading habits changed since 9/11? Or are you still reading as you always did?

– Sandy AAR

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