Sunday, January 23, 2011

First of all, let me thank you for your suggestions for future blogs.  Marsha suggested discussing independent bookstores in the Bay Area.  Torrey’s idea was to talk about authors and books to avoid.  Joni thought it would be interesting to talk about chick-lit books that even men would enjoy.  These will definitely be topics that I’ll address.  Today, though, I want to talk about book lists.  One of my very favorite aspects of book world is recommending specific books to specific people.  This is one of my pure pleasures.  I especially enjoy it when the person reads the book and reports back that he/she liked it.  If that person loved it, I’m in literary heaven.  Toward the end of last year, my son, Josh, asked me to pick his books for 2011.  This was a task that was so much fun, that I was sorry when I was done.  Josh likes books with action.  He doesn’t mind a story with an intricate plotline, but he doesn’t want Oprah.  Here is the list I came up with – in the order I suggested he read them.

John Jakes – The Bastard
Dan Brown – Angels and Demons
Lee Child – Killing Floor
David Baldacci – The Camel Club
Sheldon Siegel – Special Circumstances
Nelson DeMille – The Charm School
Stuart Woods – Chiefs
James Swain – Midnight Rambler
Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harlan Coben – Deal Breaker (or Drop Shot, if you’ve read Deal Breaker)
Jeffrey Archer – Prisoner of Birth
Tom Rob Smith – Child 44
Vince Flynn – Transfer of Power
Brian Haig – Secret Sanction
Tami Hoag – Night Sins
Steve Berry – The Templar Legacy
Richard North Patterson – Exile
Alex Berenson – The Silent Man
Daniel Silva – The Unlikely Spy
David Benioff – City of Thieves
Brad Thor – The Apostle
Nick Hayhurst – Bullpen Diaries

Although all of these books are exciting and action-filled. I tried to bring variety to his reading and introduce him to new (for him) authors.  So, for example, many of these books are book 1 (or book 2, if he already read book 1) of a series:  Jakes, Brown, Child, Baldacci, Siegel, Swain, Larsson, Coben, Smith, Flynn, Haig, Berry, Berenson, and Silva.  Some are simply outstanding stand-alones:  DeMille, Woods, Archer, Hoag, Patterson (definitely not James), Benioff, Thor (part of a series, but it doesn’t seem to matter if you read them in order, or not), and Hayhurst (not outstanding, but a light-hearted and light-reading non-fiction baseball book).

They run the gamut from a serial killer to a KGB officer to a British prisoner to a CIA agent to a Swedish computer hacker to a secret American POW camp at the outskirts of Moscow to a, seemingly, homeless park caretaker across from the White House to a Palestinian woman accused of a terrorist act and defended by an American Jewish attorney.  Even though I enjoyed every one of these books – a lot - some of them stood out:

Patterson (not James!)

Other than Hay
hurst, who is a lightweight, I would recommend all of these books to anybody who enjoys a well-constructed, oftentimes exciting, and always interesting story.

P.S.  Marshall sent a comment about getting recommendations from some of you.  Please send along your choices for authors.  Since a great many of the books I read come from Bob and Rich, I know that they will be able to add to the list.


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