Friday, April 25, 2008

Fridays: The Books You Have To Read

Patti Abbott had the wonderful idea of talking up the books that might have been forgotten over the years. We all know the blockbusters, the big hits, but every year there are gems that don't catch on in the mainstream, and it's a shame, because they're incredible books that deserve to reach a wider audience.

Honestly, it was hard to know who to write about. There were so many options, especially since I read a lot of books that don't have US deals yet, and it's tragic. However, I ultimately decided the book I wanted to talk about today that shouldn't be overlooked is...

James Reasoner's DUST DEVILS

James Reasoner is the real deal, with dozens upon dozens of titles to his name. DUST DEVILS earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and that comes as no surprise to me.

Set the scene: You know those hot summer days, the ones when it's quiet, but not a calm quiet? The ones when you can sense trouble is on the horizon, just waiting to be unleashed? That's the way it feels when Toby goes to the farmhouse, looking for a job. He's determined, and he's set his sights on this particular place.

Why that farm? Well, that's the first twist in a story that shows how an expert weaves an intricate tale so skillfully you don't always see the twists coming. They sneak up on you, and with every new revelation you're drawn deeper into the story, turning the pages because you have to know what happened. This is a short book that packs a hell of a lot in its 152 pages and is worth every moment you'll spend reading it, and then some, so what are you waiting for? Order your copy today.


Patti recruited an impressive list on contributors to start. You should make a point of dropping by Patti's, Bill Crider's, Bo Fexler's, Anthony Neil Smith's, Sandra Scoppettone's, Patrick Shawn Bagley's, Josephine Damian's, the Random Acts of Kindness blog, Travis Erwin's, Lisa Kenney's, and Brian Lindenmuth's, for all the other book recommendations.

It's my understanding that now, I have to tag someone, who will make a post like this next Friday. This time, I'm going to tag John Scalzi, because this is an idea worth spreading on to other parts of the blogosphere, and hopefully, it will find its way into other genres as well, highlighting their gems that deserve to reach a wider audience. And I think I'm 1 for 5 off my tag list from earlier in the week, so my rate of return can't get much worse anyway.

And for those interested, January Magazine has me in their Author Snapshot this week, with a photo I've never let anyone see before.

Which makes it sound special, but it really isn't.


And now, back to packing and general insanity.

11 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Sandra. And another great choice.

angie said...

What a great interview!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Such a great idea Patti. Thanks for thinking of me.

Angie, glad you enjoyed it!

Randy Johnson said...

Oddly, when I started reading the blogs in this project this morning, I wondered what book I would recommend. I went with Texas Wind, another fine entry by Mr. Reasoner.

Travis Erwin said...

I will put Dust devil on my list along with several others I've discovered through Patti's idea.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Randy, I haven't read that one yet. It will have to go on my list.

Travis, my list of books to get has just about doubled today! Great recommendations everywhere.

Josephine Damian said...

Sandra: Looks good! I love the slim novels where the writer does it all in a small space and makes it work. Thanks for the recommend.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Josephine, I think you might really like this one. I'd also recommend Tom Piccirilli THE FEVER KILL for something in similar page length and impact.

Picks By Pat said...

So, what is the worst piece of writing advice you've ever gotten?

James Reasoner said...

Sandra,

Many thanks for the kind words!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Pat, ha! I should have known that question would come up...

Someone will just have to interview me and ask! ;)

Okay, seriously, there are a lot of things that could compete for that slot, but I think the #1 worst thing was not to set my work in Canada.

James, thank you for writing such a fantastic book. It's stayed with me ever since I read it, and I highly recommend it. It's wonderful discovering books that prompt such passionate endorsement.