Monday, January 23, 2006

What You're Reading

A while ago, I posted a question on the website, asking what you'd read lately that you loved. Here are a few of the more unusual titles:

BLUE BLOOD, Edward Conlon's memoir about his first five years on the NYPD. I haven't read this yet, but I've heard wonderful things and can't wait to pick it up.

An advanced readers copy of EVERYTHING I'M CRACKED UP TO BE, by Jen Trynin. The book will be out in February 2006, so you heard about it first here.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon's SHADOW OF THE WIND.

A number of you were kind enough to mention my books, which I suppose makes sense, since that's how you found your way to my website. But thank you.

I'm reading Daniel Silva's A DEATH IN VIENNA, recommended to me by Chris Mooney, and I'm enjoying it very much. Silva manages to be sophisticated without being pretentious, and his research is extensive, his dialogue stunning - he's really a next-level author. I look forward to meeting him one of these tours.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Great Writing Quotation

From last month's WRITTEN BY, the official magazine of the Writer's Guild:

"Writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair."
Mary Heaton Vorse

I think, if you're starting with some basic talent, the above will get you further in your writing than anything else.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Back In Black

Hello everyone and welcome back.

The quotation with which I closed last year belongs to Mr. Kurt Vonnegut, who incidently has a new book out (after he swore he'd never publish another book). The new book, A Man Without a Country, is a collection of essays, and some believe that this is in keeping with his vow, that he technically said he'd never publish another NOVEL. The book is excellent - you'll read it in one sitting. He turns his trademark wit and a caustic eye to contemporary politics and finds much worth mocking.

I hope everyone got in lots of reading over the break. That's what vacations are for. What were the best books you read these past few weeks?

I'd have to say my favorite was THE CUTTING ROOM by Louise Welch, a Scottish novel about an auctioneer who finds a snuff photo in an attic and becomes obsessed with determining whether it's real. The tone and voice were excellent, the plot - at times - chilling.