During the Covid-19 Stuck at Home order, I have spent a lot of time cooking, baking, and gardening. (Thank God for spring).We haven’t been able to see our children or grandchildren for a month. 😒 Although I am a sports fan, I’m not into watching reruns of sporting events I have already seen. I also love to listen to music and ride my bike. While I have always read, I’ve recently had to time to increase my reading, too!
First of all, I’m going to share a list of my favorite authors:
- Pat Conroy – the late Pat Conroy was a true poet with words. Author of such classics as The Water is Wide, Prince of Tides and The Great Santini among others.
- Michael Connelly – a crime fiction novelist and creator of characters such as Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. Check out his Bosch tv series on Amazon Prime. The new season starts Friday.
- Greg Iles – a great southern author out of Mississippi, his descriptions of the South and its culture is spot on. I wish he would publish new books more often.
- Stuart Woods – he published a classic novel, Chiefs back in 1983. He lately has become a kind of a book producing factory similar to James Patterson, and like Patterson’s, in my opinion, the quality of their later novels have deteriorated. I do, however, still enjoy his Stone Barrington novels as some fun escapism.
- Harlen Coben – a mystery novelist, he is a master with plot twists. I am currently reading his latest, The Boy from the Woods.
- James Patterson – see my above comments about him. The only series I still read by him is his Alex Cross series because I have been reading them so long I feel as I know all the characters.
- John Grisham – Another good Southern author, although I think the quality of his newer novels are not in the same class as some of his earlier titles such as The Firm, A Time to Kill, and The Pelican Brief.
- Linda Castillo – I have always been fascinated by Amish life and I enjoy her series featuring Kate Burkholder, who left the Amish life, but returned to her Amish village as the chief of police.
Since my blog is mainly a food blog, I will start with a few food related books.
Do you like love stories? Check out Jim Gaffigan’s book, Food – A Love Story. This hilarious humorist and acclaimed lover of food talks about his love of delicacies such as bacon, gravy, BBQ, steak, donuts, pizza, French fries, and and greasy burgers and hot dogs and about his distaste for terrible foods such as salads, vegetables and fruits.
I love this bread cookbook by Peter Reinhardt. He is a baking instructor and faculty member at Johnson Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina his cookbook Crust and Crumb was the 2002 James Beard cookbook of the year, and his recipe for San Francisco Sourdough bread, while quite complicated, is my go to sourdough recipe. I made a few loaves last week.
Cemetery Road by Greg Iles. A fantastic southern crime story. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I wish he would publish more books. I hate waiting, but the quality of the writing is worth the wait! Here is a description of the book from the publisher…. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.
And a quick review from The Washington Post… “An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption… Iles’s latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment.”— Washington Post
Dear Edward by Ann Neapolitan – a story of a twelve year old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed all the other passengers including the rest of his whole family. Angie Kim of The New York Times called it “a haunting novel that’s a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival” and Stephanie Larratt of The Today Show wrote “its a book about shared humanity, new beginnings and finding hope through even the most trying experience” personally, I thought it was a little depressing but had some good insights into the mind of the twelve year old protagonist.
The Boy from the Woods – Harlen Coben. My current read, I am about halfway through and I am enjoying it. Here is the publisher’s description.
A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.
No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.
Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.
Next on my reading list….
Camino Winds by John Grisham. Due out on April 28th, 2020. Here is a brief description from the publisher’s website…
When Hurricane Leo threatens Florida’s Camino Island, the Governor is quick to issue an evacuation order. Most residents flee but a small group of diehards decide to ride it out. Amongst them is Bruce Cable, proprietor of Bay Books in downtown Santa Rosa.
The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are levelled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people are killed. One of the victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s who wrote timely political thrillers. But evidence suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of Nelson’s death – he had received several mysterious blows to the head.
Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed with the aftermath of the storm and in no condition to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels were more fact than fiction. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel – could the key to the case be right there, in black and white? Bruce starts to look into it and what he finds between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists – and far more dangerous.
Hit List by Stuart Woods. The 53rd book in the Stone Barrington series, (I read the other 52). He is a former cop turned P.I. turned lawyer turned millionaire.I like the escapism and the familiar characters in this series. Stone’s favorite things are beautiful women, Knob Creek bourbon, airplanes, fine wine, yachts, and vodka gimlets (in that order). I must say that the earlier books in the series were better. I’m hoping for the best with this newest one.
Fair Warning by Michael Connelly. Due out on May 26, 2020. Connelly is a former police reporter for The Los Angeles Times and a fantastic crime novelist. This will be his third book in his Jack McEvoy series, following The Poet and The Scarecrow. I’m looking forward to this one.
Outsider by Linda Castillo. Due out on July 7th, 2020. The 12th book in the Kate Burkholder series. This one is supposed to be an electrifying thriller about a woman on the run hiding among the Amish.
Happy Reading and stay safe!
Looking for something to listen to while doing some quarantine reading? In honor of Al Green’s 74th birthday yesterday, enjoy his 1975 greatest hits album featuring all of his classics songs.
Also, a quarantine song suggestion by my sister Cathy, how about The Bee Gees 1977 disco classic “Stayin Alive”
Also, Happy Birthday today to another sister, Debbi!