Friday, March 9, 2012

Read A Good Book Lately?

This year has been a very productive one for me, and a very busy one. As I approach the release of my eighth novel since last April, I realize how much time I’ve spent doing the creative and non-creative work of writing, editing, and polishing all those books. While getting that done, I’ve also written two more and finished another two. So, it’s been an exciting but exhausting year.

My recent blogs have been about various aspects of the writing life, and I’ll continue to do that from time to time. Today, however, I want to discuss another topic, my title question. During the year’s activities I outlined above, I’ve also been able to read more than fifty books. Mostly full length novels, they take some time to read. Time well spent, I might add.

Along with a handful of noted authors, much of my reading has been given over to my writing peers. What I’ve read from my fellow authors has been encouraging for the most part. Oh, there were a couple of clunkers in the mix, but for the most part well written novels of various genres. While the world of fiction publishing continues to swirl around the controversy over eBook versus print book, writers plug away at their craft in hopes of turning that craft into art. Some have succeeded and I’d like to highlight books of unusual merit on my blog.

Now for the reason I titled this column with a question; I’d like for you, the readers, to offer your suggestion for the best book you’ve read in a given time period. For our first go at this venture, let’s make it a long time frame. So, for our first forum, send me the title and author of the best book you read in calendar year 2011. Listings will be anonymous and your personal data will not be mentioned or used for any purpose whatsoever.

I plan to follow this format on a monthly basis, starting next month. We’ll discuss the best books we’ve read, beginning with January, 2012. That gives us a three month lead time to have read the books and let our minds digest them. Over time, as this thing grows, I’d like to add a follow-up forum on the best books we’ve chosen; sort of an informal review readers can use when choosing their next book. We’re starting small so we’ll include all fiction genres in our list. As we grow, we’ll be able to separate into different categories of fiction.

For what I hope you will consider incentive, I’m offering an ARC of my next novel, Toccata, a St. Louis Blues Mystery, scheduled for release in May. The winner will be chosen by drawing from a hat the name of someone who sends in their favorite title and author. Send your favorite title/author to me at: and I’ll compile the list between now and March 31st.

To summarize, you send your nomination for the best book you read in 2011 to my email address above. I’ll add your name to the others in a hat and at the end of the month, I’ll draw one name for the prize. The first week of April, I’ll publish the list of nominated books for best read of 2011. Other than the random drawing for the prize, nominated books will simply be listed as good reads that our colleagues have recommended.

Help me make this a favorite site for readers to discover their next great book to read. Thanks in advance for doing a service for all our readers. PD


  1. I'm reading Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell, and it's very good, lively and interesting.
    Before this, I'd recommend The Lady's Slipper by Deborah Swift, excellent.

  2. The best book I read in 2011 was Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler. It is YA book but it definitely keeps you in your seat.

  3. thanks! Keep those entries coming.