The Gift of Enthusiasm

With the recent passing of actor Peter O’Toole, I was in mind to watch How To Steal A Million, one of my favorite movies. I fell in love with this movie before Netflix, before cable, before Blockbuster video rentals. It was being rerun one weekend afternoon, and my mom said I might like it and asked if I wanted to watch it with me. I don’t remember how old I was at the time. Fourteen, maybe? But she was right. It’s not only my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie, but it’s probably in my top five movies of all time. Style, romance, humor, art, and a caper. I do believe it shaped the type of books I now write.

Either because of this particular incident, or because it’s woven into my DNA, I like to share the things that I discover that I think others will like. When I watch a little known  TV show from the seventies that I think a friend of mine will like, I tell them. Sometimes, if I really really really trust them, I’ll loan out my copy. (Three “really”s because I’ve been burned by this. Curses on you, Moses, for never returning the first episode of The Prisoner! And Louise, who still has my copy of Down With Love! And Kevin, for not returning Danger: Diabolik!) Okay, scratch that. No more loans.

I think we all get bogged down with the idea of gift giving during the month of December, and the pressure is on to not only find something someone will like, but to wrap it and deliver it on time. But why should we limit ourselves to December? Why not share those things we fall in love with, those movies, books, TV shows, plays, musicals, and bands that ignite something within us?

Leave a comment about something you’ve discovered in the past year that you loved and enter to win a copy of THE BRIM REAPER, the latest book in the Style & Error mystery series!


Author: Diane Vallere

Diane is the author of four mystery series. Like her character Samantha Kidd, she is a former fashion buyer; like her character Madison Night, she loves Doris Day movies, like her character Polyester Monroe, she lives in California; and like her character Margo Tamblyn, she has a thing for costumes. Find out more at

8 thoughts on “The Gift of Enthusiasm”

  1. Diane,
    You won’t be surprised that mine was discovering a new author, Sara Gran. So I’d have to say her books have rocked my world this year. I haven’t discovered it this year, but I also have a crazy love of Big Hunk candy bars and am constantly trying to get others to try them. lol.


  2. I don’t know that I discovered new things this year, but I have shared. My dad asked me for book recommendations, so I sent him a few of my faves, including THE OTHER WOMAN by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Unfortunately, he hated all of them (except Hank), so I’m not sure I’ll be recommending anything to him in the future. His tolerance and patience levels have definitely dropped as he’s grown older!


  3. I discovered Hugh Howey this year. We heard about him through his agent last spring, but I didn’t have time to dig into his series until late in the year and finished them in 2013. Wool is a fabulously drawn character study of a dystopian future. People have taken refuge in silos to survive the radiation and even thinking of going outside is taboo. But you know us humans. If it’s forbidden, somebody’s going to do it. A great read.
    And what’s so amazing is he’s in independent publisher. He put Wool up serially, just like Charles Dickens, only electronically and with hardly a whisper about them. They went viral, as the saying goes. I read all three books. His character developing is astonishing. His success has only made a nice guy able to be nice to more people.
    My gift is Wool, Shift, and Dust. Plus hope for indie publishers.


  4. Oh, I love to share things, too! (However, I also don’t do loans–I can’t remember who has what!) I have “found” lots of wonderful new-to-me authors this year, which has been fun. And I made some new writer friends, and I discovered Mysteristas! Possibly my favorite discovery of the year.


  5. Of course we love to talk about books! Theresa, I have Wool on my Kindle, just haven’t gotten to it yet. This year I discovered Groov3 dance classes and now I think everybody should take a dance class! And Bruce Lee movies, and Tura Satana.


  6. Love the post. Thanks, Diane. And now I want to re-watch DOWN WITH LOVE (adore that movie). Also enjoyed reading other people’s suggestions here (and Pamela, yay for the Mysteristas shout-out)!

    Kind of bummed that I haven’t really discovered anything new this year, but I did participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time and would recommend that experience to others!


  7. I also discovered a new author, Louise Penny. She was recommended by a friend, who lent me one of Penny’s books. I love her writing style and will be reading many more of her works.

    I returned the book promptly, by the way! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s