Three books arrived on our front porch this morning--each one important, each one meaningful--for very different reasons.
Book Number I--Shantaram (St. Martin's Griffin / 2003) a novel by Gregory David Roberts. My client/friend Paddy sent it with a note that read: "I agree with Pat Conroy." I was stumped at first until I read the endorsement on the cover: "A novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty."--Pat Conroy
Paddy told Jon last week that she began reading this book last summer, and just finished it. She said that multiple times during her reading she was stopped cold and forced to ponder the author's words. She said the book was life-changing.
Amazon.com said: Roberts is not reluctant to wax poetic; in fact, some of his prose is downright embarrassing. Throughout the novel, however, all 944 pages of it, every single sentence rings true. He is a tough guy with a tender heart, one capable of what is judged criminal behavior, but a basically decent, intelligent man who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially anyone he knew. He is a magnet for trouble, a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible. Stay tuned for the prequel and the sequel.
Paddy and I don't always agree on books, but I respect her judgement and look forward to diving into this one. (First though, I have to finish Pat Conroy's South of Broad for reading group next week.)
Book Number II--Town in a Blueberry Jam by B. B. Haywood (Putnam Prime Crime / February 2, 2010). Haywood is our client and this is his first book in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery series. The advance copy looks great with an illustration of the fictional town of Cape Willington, Main gracing the cover. It's so exciting when we see the fruits of the author's (and to a lesser extent, our) labors in real book form! I highly recommend this book. : }
B. B. sent the following email yesterday: The first review of Town in a Blueberry Jam is up on the Barnes and Noble website and Harriet Klausner, a layman (or laywoman) reviewer who has a huge following on Amazon, gives us five stars!! She calls the book "a charming and amusing Pine Tree State cozy in which Cape Willington is vividly described so that the reader feels they are attending the Blueberry festival." She adds, "The cast is solid as the residents bring out the ambiance of the seaside village. Although the amateur sleuthing is similar in tone to many sub-genre entries, the irony of readers knowing a lot more than the cops or the BFF detectives and the Twitter sight provide a fresh spin to B.B. Haywood's first Candy Holliday whodunit."
Very cool indeed!
Book Number III--Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2010 by Jeff Herman (Sourcebooks / 2009). I've mentioned this book many times in this blog and always recommend it to new writers. It's chock-full of great information about publishers, agents and the whole world of books. In addition to this invaluable information, Jeff Herman always features several excellent articles and other resources for writers. It's a real bargain for the cover price of $29.99. This book was sent to us compliments of Sourcebooks because we are included in the text--page 650 to 653 to be exact. What a nice gesture! Thank you Sourcebooks!
However, we got antsy last fall and bought a copy for our library. Now we have two! That's a win-win because I'd like to give one of these books to one of you readers.
I think we'll have a contest! Stay tuned for more information!