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I've seen a few commercials recently for the new movie Sahara, starring Matthew McConaughey and Penolope Cruz,  thinking that looks like a film I'd like to see.

This morning,  I found a review that mentions Sahara is based on Clive Cussler's 1992 novel.  That makes me want to see the movie even more,  despite the lackluster rating the reviewer gave it.

You see,  aside from being a fun author to read,  Cussler has real sentimental value for me.  My mother first turned me onto his novels with Raise The Titanic! in 1976;  indeed,  his were the first introduction I had to more grown-up adventure fiction  (I was ten years old at the time).  Over the years,  I continued enjoying his books purchasing each new one as it was published -- they are what I like to call "escapist" fiction,  often being so far-fetched that they take your mind off of day-to-day troubles much like James Bond movies.

My mother also remained a big fan of Cussler's and it was a standard annual birthday tradition for me to give her each new paperback  (and the hardcovers as I grew older and could afford them).

In December 1999,  Cussler gave one of his infrequent booksignings here in Albuquerque  (for the novel Atlantis Found).  It was a mob-scene with huge crowds.  Cussler was signing only one copy of the new book  (none of the back catalog was allowed)  per customer.  I waited in that line for hours,  told him the story about how I discovered his writing,  and had him inscribe the book,  "To Carol, Happy Birthday."  It was one of the last birthday presents I was to give to my mom;  she passed away in August 2001.  Sometime later,  during one of my infrequent visits to Kansas City,  my dad asked me if there was anything of mom's that I wanted.  The only thing I could think of was that Clive Cussler novel that he autographed for her.  It holds a very special place in my rather extensive book collection.

And everytime he comes out with a new book,  I automatically think of my mom and how much she would enjoy receiving it as a gift.  Which is why I'm going to go see this new movie despite what any critics may say about it.  For a couple of hours in a darkened theatre,  I'll be able to loose myself in the sheer nonsense of lead character Dirk Pitt's adventures trying to save the world from bad people.  And,  I can know that my mom is looking down on me,  pleased that I still enjoy these types of stories.

Here's thinking of you, mom!