This probably won\u2019t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but I read a lot. I always have a book going, both print (or Kindle) and audio (for my daily commute, and my treadmill time). I think one of my problems is that I enjoy just about everything. I have known library patrons who read only thrillers, or only romances. I almost envy their precision; I have a hard time reading everything that interests me! And yet, notice that I said \u201cAlmost.\u201d At the end of the day, I enjoy my varied interests and tastes\u2014even if it makes my reading decisions a bit harder.\r\n\r\nI have learned over the years \u2013 finally \u00ad\u2013 to put down any book that doesn\u2019t live up to my standards, be they technical writing standards or good plot standards\u2014whatever. It\u2019s okay to start a book and abandon it if you are rolling your eyes and groaning at poor editing or boneheaded plot devices. That\u2019s why the book \u201cThe Last Time I Died\u201d by Joe Nelms was such a problem for me.\r\n\r\nThis debut novel features Christian Franco, a miserable main character with real problems. He\u2019s getting a divorce, his career is imploding, his friendships are falling away. He has taken to hanging out in bars, hoping to get into a brawl. Pain seems to bring peace to him; or it at least takes his mind off his life for a moment. But one night, he loses the fight, and is beaten to death in a bar fight. While in that limbo between life and death, Christian sees a scene from his childhood, a memory that has been repressed for years. His father is sitting in the back of a police car, mouthing \u201cI\u2019m sorry\u201d to nine-year-old Christian. His mother is dead, being wheeled away on a gurney. Christian is resuscitated, brought back to life both literally and figuratively. He must know more about his childhood. What did that scene mean? Why can\u2019t he remember more? And so he sets off to discover his past in the only way that seems to work for him: dying just enough to see more of his life flash before him, but being rescued before it\u2019s too late.\r\n\r\nWhat a bizarre concept for a novel!\r\n\r\nI couldn\u2019t quite decide if I liked it\u2014and yet I devoured this thing. I just couldn\u2019t put it down, both because of the plot line and because of the beautiful writing (and excellent vocabulary!) It would be a great read for a discussion group; lots to talk about, lots to love and\/or hate.\r\n\r\nI wanted to know the truth just as badly as Christian. It\u2019s hard when you don\u2019t like a main character, and yet Christian Franco fascinated me. He was nuts! But nuts in a crazily logical way.\r\n\r\nEven now, I don\u2019t think I can say I liked it or I hated it; the best I can do is say it left me sort of speechless, and thinking about the story long after I finished the last page.