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)
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
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My goal for 2014 is to read 26 books.