This blog has a few random news items. The normally hyper-cogent (huh?) post that I'm known for (in my own mind) is not evident here. Don't be too disappointed.
1. Most importantly, tomorrow starts the first of consecutive Sundays for guest bloggers. Right now, there are 11 people signed up. That could expand (or contract) as we keep moving forward. Our first guest blogger is Jeff Barnett. You will see his post tomorrow. Let's make sure that none of the posts are so good (like Joni's the other night) that you are all clamoring for a permanent replacement!
2. Last year, I blogged about a new author, Paul McEuen, who wrote Spiral. I highly recommended it. I thought it was a great debut. Well, I found out from him this week that he is up for Thriller of the Year at ITW, International Thrillers Writer. If you haven't read Spiral, you might want to give it a shot. I would love to hear your comments and reviews.
3. Steve Berry, whose recurring character is Cotton Malone, will be appearing at The Book Passage on May 18. The good news is that it's a Friday night. It's not that much fun to go to Corte Madera from the South Bay during the week (or weekend, for that matter). I intend to go so maybe I'll see one of you up there.
4. I just finished Jodi Picoult's latest, Lone Wolf. All I can say is that she is one of the finest novelists I know. As many of you have gleaned by now, I try to read different types of books. Jodi's books are extremely well-written. They usually dwell on relationships, and this one is no exception. If you remember (and I'm sure you consult my prior blogs regularly), her My Sister's Keeper made Volume I of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader. This one is just about as good.
5. I also read Vince Flynn's latest, Kill Shot. He had to take some time off between this book and his last one (from 2010) due to a bout with cancer. It appears he's going to be okay. As far as the book is concerned, it was really good. His last one, American Assassin, goes back in time to show how Mitch Rapp got recruited to the CIA. I really enjoyed the first half of that book, which detailed the recruitment and the training. The second half focused on Mitch's first caper and was not as interesting. I wasn't that excited to read another one about the young Mitch. Boy was I wrong. It was really good. I enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed all of Vince's books about Mitch. The guy can definitely write.
6. There's also some sad news to report. Last year, I read The American, book 1 in a series written by Andrew Britton. Since then, Andrew has written The Assassin, The Invisible, and, very recently, The Exile. I haven't read those yet but intend to. Andrew recently died at the age of 27 from an undiagnosed heart condition. His mom said "He just went to sleep and never woke up." How sad is that?