No products in the cart.

Twelve Months, Cover to Cover

Twelve Months, Cover to Cover

The year gone by was full of milestones small and large: gains and losses, advances and retreats, triumphs and struggles. It was a year worthy of a novel, though I didn’t write one during it. Instead, while hunting down lyric permissions for the completed novel-in-waiting (coming in 2015), I tinkered with three different ideas for The Next Book, and I read. A lot. So much, in fact, that I’m inspired by a book I gave to a loved one this Christmas—Nick Hornby’s Ten Years in the Tub, a compilation of his monthly columns riffing on the books he’s read—to deliver a reading tally of my own (Twelve Months Cover to Cover, or something like that). What said tally reveals about its author is, of course, entirely up to the reader to determine.

Ironically enough, Robert Crais—probably my favorite current writer who didn’t publish this year—is responsible for a large chunk of my 2014 reading list. One of his favorite contemporaries is Michael Connelly, whose back catalog of thrillers I started on in 2013 and accelerated through during 2014, covering the following: The Poet, A Darkness More Than Night, Void Moon, City of Bones, Chasing The Dime, Lost Light, The Narrows and The Closers. I’ll be teeing up The Lincoln Lawyer and Echo Park very soon. Connelly’s Harry Bosch is one of the great characters in modern crime fiction, a flawed, driven Everyman with an insatiable thirst for justice.

I also finished up the very last Spenser book featuring any of original author Robert B. Parker’s words, the middling but satisfactory Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel, begun by Parker and finished by his longtime agent Helen Brann. More exciting were the latest from Parker’s estimable successor Ace Atkins in both the Spenser series (Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot) and his own rich, tension-filled Quinn Colson series (The Broken Places and The Forsaken).

Other familiar favorites also made the rounds. Stephen King penned a gripping sequel (Doctor Sleep) and a solid new yarn full of familiar themes (Mr. Mercedes). deeply entertaining Identical, and Lee Child returned with the dependably thrilling Personal. (But don’t see that damned Jack Reacher movie if you’re a fan of the Child books; the only person who could possibly think Tom Cruise would make a plausible Jack Reacher is Tom Cruise. Two words: Jason Statham.)

The music world was of course well represented. In the non-fiction realm, I thoroughly enjoyed the warm and frank A Natural Woman by revealing Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) by exiled Eagle Don Felder (with Wendy Holden). In the less heavily populated realm of musical fiction, I was enthralled by fellow traveler giddy Beatles homage Rubber Soul.

I also dipped a toe into literary fiction with Peter Heller’s captivating character study The Painter—more about that one in the next episode of The Bookshelf Diaries—and Andrew Porter’s memorable portrait of a dysfunctional family In Between Days.

Last but not least, I visited the bestseller list for a taste of moving Life After Life, and James Carroll’s workmanlike, somewhat plodding (and, at least as it pertains to my family, historically inaccurate) Warburg in Rome. In the non-fiction realm, much like the movie itself, actor Cary Elwes’ memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride was disarmingly charming and sweet, with an undertone of melancholy. And then there was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (because: peer pressure), a novel that’s both ingenious and exhiliratingly twisted right up until somewhere around the four-fifths mark, at which point it goes careening off the rails into You’ve-gotta-be-kidding-me-land. C’mon now.

Mind you, this isn’t the whole list; I’ve left out several duds, because most of the time there is enough negativity in this world without my adding to it. (You’re welcome. Also if you liked this post, you might want to try Goodreads.)

Onward to 2015…!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to get all our latest updates & book release news.