Everybody knows I have some favorite local authors, but do you know that my reading list is made up of mostly Left Coast writers? We’re a talented bunch here in the land of “fruits and nuts.” Maybe it’s all the fresh food, or maybe you just have to be a little crazy to be a writer. Whatever it is, some of the best writing today is coming from the west coast.

I paused to think about this phenomenon after a student suggested I post a list of local authors I enjoy on Building a Better Story. I’ve echoed the saw that ‘a good writer is an avid reader’ for ages, so a list sounded like a great idea. OMG! I didn’t realize the task would turn into a major research project and make my brain explode with the vast numbers of authors and books I’ve read or have stacked on the shelf yet to read. Alas. Too many books, too little time. You might call me a biblio-loca-maniac.

I wish I could take a sabbatical and just read. Here is the list I’d start with. In fact, this is my current reading list—

First, I’d finish David Corbett’s Do They Know I’m Running? Of his books, I’ve read:

                        The Devil’s Redhead

                        Done for a Dime (my favorite)

                        Blood Paradise

Also unfinished, Susan C. Shay, The King’s Jar.

Then I’d read Lisa Brackman’s Ellie Cooper series (is there a third on the horizon?):

                        Rock, Paper, Tiger

                        Hour of the Rat

Lisa’s Getaway is one of the books that inspires my own series. There’s a sequel coming out soon.

Next in the queue:  Kelli Stanley:    City of Dragons  and  City of Secrets,  followerd by Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc mystery series set in Paris. I’ve read 5 of 11. The latest is Murder in Passy. Start with Murder in the Marais and read in order.

 You probably are noticing that I’m interested in thrillers, mysteries and noir. Not a local boy, but my number one favorite author is Arizonan, Clark Lohr. Follow Manny Aguilar and a trail of blood and corruption from Tucson to Mexico and back in Devil’s Kitchen, and, in The Devil on 85, ride along with Manny on State Highway 85—a smuggling corridor where guns and money go south and drugs and migrants go north. Lohr blends noir with magical realism to create a fresh voice in crime novels. I’m hooked! When’s the next book, Clark?

But I don’t read only crime fiction, and although she’s a Southern writer, I’ve just added Sue Monk Kidd’s newest, The Invention of Wings to my must read list.

Here are some of my favorite local authors:

JC Miller                                    Vacation            

Jordan E. Rosenfeld                 Forged in Grace

Susana Solomon                        Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls

Laura McHale Holland            Reversible Skirt      

                                                      The Ice Cream Vender’s Song

Ransom Stephens                     The God Patent    

                                                     The Sensory Deception

Amanda McTigue                      Going to Solace

Amber Lea Starfire                     Not the Mother I Remember

Gigi Pandian                                Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries

P.S. Foley                                     West Newport Blues                       

Terry Shames                             A Killing at Cotton Hill                                                   

Sheldon Siegal                          Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez mysteries             

Persia Wooley                            the Guinevere trilogy

Jody Gehrman                           Summer in the Land of Skin

Lynn Freed                                Reading, Writing, Leaving

                                                    Home:   Life on the Page

My goal for 2014 is to read 26 books.

Join me!