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Note From the Book Review Editor: The Magic of Books And Curating Book Reviews

By Laura Roesch, Photography By Savannah Dean

Author Stephen King said it best; “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” I agree.

I first learned about the magic of books at the age of four or five when I went to live with my grandparents. My grandmother was in her late 50s at the time. Looking back, it occurs to me that she did not know what to do with me; surely she was not expecting to raise a young child that was dropped on her doorstep.

What she did was read to me, teaching me to love and cherish books. She was from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, so Anne of Green Gables by a Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was a particular favorite of hers. She read the Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore, National Velvet, The Swiss Family Robinson and Pippi Longstocking, and so many, many other wonderful books. As I learned to read, I began to read to her. In grade school I was introduced to The Weekly Reader, a newspaper for elementary school children. When I became old enough to earn an allowance, she taught me to save so I could select and buy my own paperback books from the Weekly Reader Book Club.  During summer recess, the local library bookmobile would make its way through our neighborhood every two weeks.  My grandmother and I would stand on the street outside our home and wait for it as it lumbered towards us. I was allowed to select two books, but only if I had read the books from the last visit. The summer I turned 13, Franco Zeffirelli’s movie, Romeo and Juliet, was released. I was obsessed with it, especially the beautiful soundtrack, and I saw it 14 times! My grandmother encouraged me to read the book by Shakespeare and it was my first introduction to classic literature. That summer I also slowly made my way through Anna Karenina. I was hooked and remain so to this very day. Books
have been my constant and faithful companions, thanks to my beloved grandmother so many years ago.

My recent retirement brings the luxury of time, which fuels my passion for reading even more. I usually have two or three books underway at any given time, and often read five or six a month. As book review editor for Panama City Living Magazine, I will be introducing local personalities who also love and appreciate a good book. Books may be selected from a wide variety of genres including new and classic fiction, biographies and autobiographies, history and historical fiction, mysteries, inspirational, and non-fiction books.

I will end with another quote I am fond of, this one by Frank Zappa .“So many books, so little time.”

Join me, won’t you?





Submit your book review for consideration to: Laura@panamacityliving.com

Laura Roesch

Laura Roesch, born and raised on Florida's east coast, earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Radford University and a law degree from Indiana University School of Law. A retired judge, she is a voracious reader with a life-long passion for books.  She especially loves to hear about what others are reading. When she is not reading, she happily plays ukulele and drums with the wonderfully diverse and quirky Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews. She and her husband carefully tend their bucket list of adventures, and collect vintage cars and motorcycles.

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