For just the third time, I went to see an author that I haven't read. His name is Jo Nesbo, and he is Norwegian. He was great - affable, informative, and, most importantly, he didn't read from his book! He said a number of very interesting things:
1. He was a stockbroker and a rock singer before he became an author.
2. He writes a series about a detective named Harry Hole (pronounced "hula" in Norwegian).
3. He wrote a standalone, called The Headhunters, that was made into a movie and that just showed at Cannes. It was picked up by a US distributor and will be shown in the USA.
4. Norway has the highest percentage of readers than any other country in the world (according to him).
5. He is so big in Norway that his publisher provides him with a team of 7 people to work on editing the book with him. This contradicts what other authors have said; namely that they have had to personally hire their own editors because their publisher can't afford to do it any more. John Lescroart said he has hired his own team of 3 editors!
6. He's even written a series of children's books. I bought one for Haley that's called Dr. Proctor's Fart Machine. Joni said I should have bought it for Josh.
Nesbo told a story about how he came up with the title for his latest book, The Snowman. Friends of his asked him to help them pick a title for their horror movie. Nesbo came up with The Snowman. They said it was a good title, but there was no snowman in the movie. So thanks but no thanks. Nesbo liked the title so much that he used it for new book, and wrote the first scene, before he even had a plot for the book itself. He said he always writes the book and then gives it a title. He did a 360 this time.
He also said that Stieg Larsson was a door-opener for many of the Scandinavian mystery writers of today but that Larsson had his own door-openers from the '70's and '80's, including Henning Mankel, who you can find in any American bookstore.
I'm looking forward to reading one of Nesbo's books. I'll report back.
I just finished the latest Richard North Patterson, The Devil's Light. It's another book about a government-sponsored special agent who has to stop an Arab terrorist. It didn't grab me that much. It might be the glut of Arab terrorist books that it seems I have read recently. What's most interesting about the book, though, is the level of research that Patterson puts in. A few days after I finished the book, I was reading the paper and saw an article about Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and the Iranians, and it was exactly what Patterson wrote. He really knows his stuff.
Now, having said that it didn't grab me, I found myself, surprisingly, tearing up in several spots. So, maybe it grabbed me more than I thought it did. I would definitely recommend it - if for no other reason than what he writes seems to be an accurate depiction of what's happening no matter where his story takes place. P.S. My kids like to point out, repeatedly, that I once cried during a Buffy, The Vampire Slayer episode. So, perhaps the tearing up doesn't mean that much.
I also just finished the latest Steve Berry/Cotton Malone episode. Once again, Berry has come up with a very fast, entertaining, and well-written book - for a B-Lister. I would definitely recommend him. You just need to know that his stuff is not memorable. They're good airport/swimming pool/barcalounger reads.
Finally, I just started my last Ann Patchett novel. This is #5. Now I'll be ready to start #6 when Joni and I see her on June 15. I can't wait! She's definitely one of my favorites as you all know by now. Sorry, I get to write what I want, even if it bores the crap out of my reading audience.
There are no new events to tell you about.