SHERYL GOT ME an anniversary present a while back - the complete series of Dirk Pitt adventures, by Clive Cussler. There are about 20 books and I've read many of them, but never in order.
I'm about halfway through the series. Some of Cussler's early books are glaringly offensive to women and full of character cliches. Like anything, the books take time to develop and the characters get better.
These aren't going to win literature prizes. They are action-adventure books using villians and the environment, especially the oceans, as backdrops. They work for me and Cussler has sold millions of books because he keeps it simple and to the point - evil bad guy attempts to destroy the world with a plague or environmental weapon, and super good guy Dirk Pitt defies all the odds and escaped death time and time again to foil the bad guy.
The main reason I'm glad for the books is that they've got me reading again. I spent way too much time trolling through Internet trash and watching mindless TV before we got the books. My parents instilled a love of reading into me at an early age and there is still nothing better than time and a good book.
And, of course, you gotta love a hero named Dirk. It's a good Dutch name!