• Gina Rullo

Hey Hammonton, let’s read a book or two together


Tell me what to read this year. All suggestions welcome. I only have a few criteria. (Courtesy Photo)

Anyone who knows me (and may only know me from the pages of this newspaper) knows I love to read.


I try to read between one and two hours a day. Some days more.  Some days a little less.


On Christmas, I started watching “Bridgerton” on Netflix. After the second episode, I loaded up a gift card to Amazon and downloaded the books (all eight, but to be honest, books 1-3 came as one).  For the next nine days, I read into the wee hours.


Thankfully, I was reading alone because I am pretty sure I was blushing through some of the pages as I was through some of the episodes.


Books surround me—my office at work, my nightstand at home, the hassock in our living room. Plus I have a Kindle since we don’t have enough room for all of our combined books.


Wherever I am, I always have 400 or so books with me on my phone or tablet.


The best thing I learned a few years ago was that you can borrow Kindle books from the Hammonton Branch of the Atlantic County Library. It helped me get through the pandemic that began last spring.


I do try and ask people what they are reading. And I am always baffled when people say they don’t enjoy reading. How is that possible I wonder?


Where would I be without Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennet, Harry Potter, Mr. Tumnus, Frodo Baggins, Richie Tozier, Penny Nichols, Ayla, Jane Eyre, Scout Finch, Nancy Drew, Jess Aarons, Salvo Montalbano, Claudia Kincaid, Jack Ryan, Ceony Twill, Spenser, Rose Campbell, Dave Mitchell, Vianne Rossignol and Beatrice just to name a few off the top of my head.


We have been though so much together.  We have traversed Middle Earth, fell in love countless times, battled oppression and some truly awful people, exchanged barbed comments, cried, laughed and experienced everything the real and imaginary world has to offer.


I am asking for a favor, Hammonton.  Tell me what to read this year. All suggestions welcome. I only have a few criteria.


• Fiction is preferred to nonfiction.


• No sad endings. Real life has enough tragedy.


• Nothing too violent. Jack Ryan violence level is OK.


• Nothing too naughty — you know what I mean


• Nothing super science-y. I generally enjoy light sci-fi and most fantasy.


• No true crime.


• No politics.  Do I really need to say why?


Let’s read together.  Who knows? Maybe we will have a Zoom book club one night together.  We can drink tea, wine or whatever and talk about what we liked in the book that month or week.


I want to walk through a new world with you fellow readers. When the characters solve a crime, I want us to be there together.


Let’s feel the cold snow under our feet as we sit snuggly warm on our couches.


Let’s smell the garlic, butter and shallots cooking and enjoy the bountiful feasts together without gaining a pound. I will say this, pre-COVID-19, my godmother was in a cookbook book club where each member brought in a dish from the book for the meeting. I can get down with that.


If there is a movie version, let me know and we can compare notes. Let’s do this together Hammonton!


So what are you reading?  What’s next for you?  Is it a mystery? A romance novel?  Something a little trashy.  Let me know. I want to read it too.


Send your book suggestions to grullo@hammontongazette. com; call me at work at (609) 704-1940 or message me on social media.  You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.



Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette.