Do you read much?
“I read all the time. Books are my movies.”
Who are your favorite authors?
“I love Catherine Coulter’s Legacy series, especially the first one, The Wyndham Legacy. She does romance mixed with suspense — it’s like a murder mystery where you have to figure out who did it. I haven’t read any in a while, but I go back and reread them every now and then. She keeps the same characters from book to book — you’ll meet someone, and then in the next book, you’ll meet his brother and learn about his life. It’s like one big happy family. She makes you fall in love with the characters, and she’s so funny.
“I also like Grace Livingston Hill. Everything she writes is so good, but The Girl from Montana is a favorite. A young girl loses her family, one by one, for various reasons. Then when her brother’s killer decides to pursue her, she flees with nothing but the address of a long-forgotten aunt. Her journey, hardships, and trials had me rooting for her and hoping for a happy ending because she gave kindness when none was given to her.
“And there’s Terri Reid’s mystery series about a female cop, Mary O’Reilly, who dies and chooses to come back. When she does, she has the ability to see dead people. Some are nice and some are not, but she helps them to get to the other side after she figures out how they’ve been murdered. Oh, and M.C Beaton’s novels about Hamish Macbeth. He’s a Scottish policeman, and people think he’s bumbling and that he looks kind of dorky, but he’s actually super-smart. He figures everything out, and when he does, you say, ‘Oh, that’s just common sense,’ but he’s the one who figured it out.”
What book has been most life-changing for you?
“Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind. She makes good points about thinking positively, training yourself to think positively. Our minds will not always think positively; you’ve got to train your mind to look for the good. For example, even if I say I’m not thinking anything, that’s negative, because then, I’m not putting something good into my mind. Now, I try to take in positive things.”
How did you find it?
“I actually bought it as a gift. Whenever I have something like a Pampered Chef party, I’ll buy inspirational books or inspirational mugs as prizes for whoever showed up first, whoever bought the most, etc. At the bookstore, it was there in the $5 gifts. I bought it, and I ended up reading it and loving it.
“There’s also The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living, by Robert Morris; he’s the pastor of a church. It’s about tithing. He says that if you don’t give your 10 percent to God first, it’s like you’re stealing from God, you know what I mean? And I liked how he put this: God is calling you out. You’re wondering how much to give, and it’s like He’s asking, ‘You say you have faith; do you really have faith? Are you tithing?’ Because you want to give with the heart. That’s what says, ‘I want to give.’ Morris also makes the point that if you’re just giving to your favorite charity, you’re spending God’s money on what you want. You should give to the church that feeds you or supports you, and let them do whatever they want with the money. And if you want to give extra to something after that, then give extra. When I read his book, I realized, ‘How can I spend God’s money, decide what I’m going to do with God’s money? It’s not mine.’”
Do you read any magazines or newspapers?
“I have the Washington Post on my Kindle and occasionally I will read an article. But I stay away from the news in general because it’s always so negative.”
Name: SYLVIA ASTIN | Age: 51 | Occupation: CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER | Neighborhood: OCEANSIDE | Where Interviewed: LA MESA