Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Today I finished reading Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child.

I read this book as part of my Learn to Write by Reading project.  And because it is a Reacher novel and I can't get enough Reacher.  Now, if I could just write like Lee Child, I might just write something worth reading.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Today I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

"In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. 

Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate." - Google Books

I'm not sure I'd call the book "stunning" but it is very interesting.

Whether it's 5,000 hours of practice or 1,000 times doing something before you are a master of the skill, my life's experience confirms the principal.

Which means that the odds of a newbie like myself writing the Great American Novel on my first time attempt is about the same as a room full of monkeys randomly producing the same.

So why am I worrying about writing the perfect thriller?  Don't know.  But I am and that thinking is a major roadblock to getting it done.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

Today I finished reading Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke.

I read this novel as a part of my learn to write by reading program.  And because I read everything Burke writes.  I love him.

This is a Hackberry Holland novel.  Dave Robicheaux is my favorite Burke protagonist.  But, Hack is great also.

James Lee Burke has been described by the Denver Post as 'America's best novelist.'  TheAbout the Author section at the end of this book contains this sentence, "His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years and upon its publication by Louisiana State University Press in 1986, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize."  Tells me that novels are rejected for reasons other than quality.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton

Today I finished reading A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton.

I read this novel as a part of my learn to write by reading program.  A Cold Day in Paradise was Hamilton's first novel.  It was the 1997 St. Martin's Press / PWA Award for Best First Private Eye Novel.  Last month I read his 2011 Edgar Award winner The Lock Artist. 

 Hamilton started out as a good writer and got better. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Poet by Michael Connelly

Today I finished reading The Poet  by Michael Connelly.  This book was ranked #40 by listeners of NPR in it's Top 100 'Killer Thrillers'.

I read the book as a part of my learn to write by reading program.

It is a very good read.