Doesn’t get any Better Than This

I’ve said on here plenty of times that Michael Connelly is one of my favorite authors. He is. But there’s more.

There are plenty of crime writers today, and some good ones, but I don’t think anyone writes the genre better than he does. The stories. The characters. And most importantly, Harry Bosch. They’re all intensely great.

I just finished The Black Box last week and though I’m well accustomed to his work by now, I was still quite impressed as I reached the end of the book. I won’t tell you to start his Harry Bosch series, but man I love it.

Which authors seem to dominate a genre to you? Any genre.

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Authors can Rally Around Great Books and Make Things Happen

About a month ago I read about something strange. A number of prominent authors were bringing attention to a single book. And it wasn’t written by any of them. Obviously I’m not under the impression that all authors are against one another, but this just seemed different. They were promoting a book entirely because they believed it to be one of those rare, great books that doesn’t come along too often. And things are happening because of it.

First, the book they were talking about was The Cartel by Don Winslow. The authors talking about it were Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and James Ellroy. I haven’t read all four, but I know them. Because I read crime fiction and those are names you have to know. But I’d never heard of Don Winslow before this book. The book became a New York Times bestseller and now has a movie deal in place.

I’m not going to say that it’s all because of what those four authors said about it, but when you’ve got a group that’s sold upwards of 100 million books talking about your book, there’s no greater promotion to be done.

The point is to say that everyone talks about how cutthroat the industry is and how impossible it is to break into publishing, but this group of crime writers has shown that it doesn’t have to be like that. That rallying around a book and its author is not such a bad thing after all.

What do you think of these bestselling authors bringing attention to Don Winslow and his book? I love it.

Do You Have a Favorite Indie Bookstore?

Last year sometime I asked about favorite bookstores. But I was talking more about Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders, Books A Million, or whichever major chain you have near you in which you get your books. But now I’m only talking indies.

I have to first be honest, I very rarely shop in my favorite indie bookstore. It’s just too expensive for me. I buy all of my books new, but doing so there would be ridiculous. So there, that’s out of the way.

My favorite is a store called Murder by the Book in Houston. It’s been around since the 80s and they host a couple hundred author events every year, mostly for crime writers. And these events are well attended. I’ve only been to two, but I’ve seen pictures of others in which there were people lined up outside. Besides all the events the store hosts each year, one of my favorite aspects is the feel when you walk in. I mean, the Barnes and Noble a few miles away from me is nice. I just went for the first time in over a year last week. But it still has that store feel. At least for me. Murder by the Book feels more…like your neighbor’s house with a lot of books. I think. It’s hard to describe. And the people are rather nice.

Anyway, that’s all about my favorite indie bookstore. Here are a couple pictures from inside Murder by the Book.

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Tell me about your favorite indie bookstore.