Today in My History

2000:  I'll Do It Tomorrow
2001:  Oh, to be in England
2002:  Tacky Funny Crap
2003:  Rolling Thunder
2004:  What do you say to a Living Legend?
2005:  Top Dog
2006:  A Strange Alliance
2007: A Nice Place to Be From
2008:  Are You Barking at Me?
2009:  Move Over, Herman
2010:  Versatile Duct tape
2011:  Somebody Needs Better PR
2012: Somai
2013: Sunday Stealing

2014: If I were a Rich (Wo)man
2015: All that Jazz--The French Quarter
2016: Never Too Old to Learn.
2017: I See Dead People
2018: Saturday 9
2019: Sunday Stealing
Real Social Isolation
2021: Margarine

Books Read in 2022
 Updated 4/30
"Kitchen Confidential"
Anthony Bourdain
(book #22 in 2022)

My family

Bev's 65 x 365

Books Read in 2022
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

Cast (updated 7/21)


Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Pi´┐Żata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev


5 May 2022

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my three favorite fiction characters.  Today I thought I'd write about my favorite authors.  More than 3.  At the head of the list would be John Steinbeck.

At some point in the early 1980s, I picked up "East of Eden" and devoured it.  I went on to read almost all of Steinbeck's books, including a book of letters he wrote to his publisher while writing "Grapes of Wrath" and a thick book of just letters he wrote.  He was a big letter writer.  I found that my writing always improved whenever I was reading Steinbeck and I can't ride through the valley around Salinas without thinking of the wonderful description he wrote about that area (which he wouldn't recognize now!)

I've read almost all of Bill Bryson.  I fell in love with his writing while reading "The Mother Tongue," which is the story of the English language, which sounds terribly dull, but it reads like a novel and and I enjoyed it so much that I started reading his other books.  I remember buying one in a book store in Cambridge while Walt and I were driving around small towns in England and loving it because he wrote it while driving around many of the same small towns.

I don't know if I would have become such a fan of the "Outlander" books if Diana Gabaldon were not such a good writer.  For one thing she is a story teller.  She knows how to tell a story and make it interesting.  But in addition to that, she has to be an historian to make the time travel from 1945 to 1743 believable.  And Claire is a nurse in the first book, and a doctor later on, so the medical information needs to be accurate...and since they had no pills in 1743, she needs to know which herbs a healer might use to treat a patient.  Her books are so complex that book stores don't know whether to shelve them with romance novels or historical fiction!

The genre I read most is crime/drama and I have my list of authors I read.  Harlan Coben heads the list, then Michael Connelly, David Baldacci and Tess Gerritsen. 

Tess Gerritsen's main characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, became television characters and it took some getting used to because Jane Rizzoli on TV is absolutely NOTHING like Jane Rizzoli in the books.

Michael Connelly's books all take place in police offices and his hero, Harry Bosch, is a police officer who gets into all sorts of trouble.  You learn a lot about how police departments work when reading Connelly's books.

David's Baldacci's books usually take place in Washington DC and all deal with politics and are interesting and great fun.

I was a big fan of James Patterson until he started writing with co-authors.  He says he likes writing plots but doesn't like the actual writing and so he has several co-authors some better than others.  His books have become less interesting and his primary character, Alex Cross changed personality.

Patricia Cornwell, who used to be my favorite, also changed her primary characters.  I read all of her books up to the one she published in 2003 and hated what my favorite people had become--and I was upset that Scarpetta doesn't cook any more.  I read the next book and still hated them, so I stopped reading her.  But I recently won a free copy of her latest book, which I read, and was happy to see that everybody is back with characteristics that I recognize and like (and Scarpetta cooks again), so I will read more of her again.

I've never been a big sci fi reader, though have enjoyed the books I've read.  I read two books by David Gerrold before he and I became friends and after our friendship, I read everything he'd written, up to about 2000.  I love the snide humor in all of his books and I particularly like his young adult series, the Dingilliad, which has a memorable character named Beverly Sykes.




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