Well, according to Goodreads, this is all I read throughout year. The books are displayed in no particular order, and I’m almost certain it’s an incomplete list. Surely I read more than that! I reckon I just forgot to record on the site everything I’ve read in 2013. Pity. Had I known they’d keep up with this for me, I would have been more diligent, because I always forget when I read a particular book.
It’s a pretty eclectic list, but with an emphasis on my favorite genre mystery, either cozy mystery, like Dying to Read, or police procedural, like The Black Dahlia (although I wonder if I can technically call it a police procedural).
I’ve met all these authors either in person or in cyberspace, except for Lorena McCourtney, Charles Frazier, and James Ellroy. Jess Ferguson, author of The Last Daughter, is my Encourager-in-Chief. She and K.M. Weiland (Dreamlander) have been with me since the early days.
I met Hope Clark (Tidewater Murder) in 2012 at the Bayou Writers Group conference where we were both speakers, and Tosca Lee (Demon: a Memoir) at the ACFW conference this past September. I met Terry Blackstock (Truth-Stained Lies) at my first ACFW conference and, true to form, stuck my foot in my mouth.
“Don’t I know you?” I asked. “Are we Facebook friends or something?”
Her cheeks held the slightest blush. “Well,” she responded, “I’m Terry Blackstock.”
Once I heard the name, I was the one with the blush–and I can promise you, it wasn’t slight.
At the time Becalmed came out, Normandie Fisher and I had the same agent. Donn Taylor (Rhapsody in Red) is still in my agent’s client group and is a contributor to our collaborative blog, AuthorCulture. I met him at an ACFW conference, too, and see him at the ETBU conferences in Marshall, Texas.
Frazier’s Thirteen Moons and Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia are listed in The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I’m still working on that 2011 New Year’s resolution to read every book Maass lists. Since working on the resolution really has enhanced my reading experience and broadened my literary scope, I intend to keep at it. It’s slow, but it’ll happen.
In all honesty, I don’t remember how I wound up with Lorena’s little cozy mystery, but I’m glad I did. Maybe it was one of the ACFW Carol Award entries. If so, I should’ve listed several of the others, too–like Dineen Miller’s The Soul Saver, which was one of my faves for the year and the Carol winner in its genre.
Another one that’s missing is Brandilyn Collins’s Double Blind. Lands! How could I have forgotten that one?! It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that fast–and then I backed it with Demon: a Memoir. Broke my speed reading records both times.
As I write this, Saving Grace, by Lesley Ann McDaniel, is on my Kindle, 75% finished. I reckon it’ll show up on next year’s Goodreads Year in Review list. Lynnette Bonner designed her cover, and I think it’s perfect for the book. Love it!
My faves for the year are (click on them for the reviews): Demon: a Memoir, Double Blind, and The Soul Saver, but it would be incredibly difficult to rank the others in order of “favorite.” All the books had something of value either in simple entertainment or craft-learning or both. Of all of them, The Black Dahlia is the one that threw me for a loop because it was such a hard read, and it’s one of the few books I’ve ever read that I simply can not, in good conscience, recommend to my friends. But I can’t seem to get rid of it either. Strange.
For 2014, I’m going to try just a little harder to list my books on Goodreads so next time I do this, it’ll be a more accurate reflection of what I’ve read.