In Praise Of. . .What’s on My Reading Stack

by Jeff Abbott on December 16, 2008

A reader named Mark posts on the guestbook:

Jeff , the sign of a true author is being able to pull the readers deep into the story so that they are completely absorbed by it. You can do that and more. It helps me to forget the pain from my neuropathy and liver disease for quite a long while. Thank you! 

Keep writing, because I’ve read everything you have had published so far. 
A question for you though…who do you enjoy reading when you have a chance? 
Any new authors out there you would recommend? 

Mark, thanks for the kind words and I hope you’re feeling better soon.

Re what I’m reading, that’s a timely question. It’s holiday book buying time, and while we all know Jeff Abbott books make great gifts (I have no room for subtlety today), any book makes a great gift. But lately, I’ve really fallen behind on my reading, what with work and life demands. So let me tell you what books I have on my reading stack. . .the books I’m excited about getting to read in the next few months, along with a couple of new authors I’m really enjoying.

Right now I’m reading Brent Ghelfi’s debut Volk’s Game, about a Russian gun-for-hire involved in a heist at the Hermitage Museum, and I am enjoying it a lot. Well-crafted and the suspense is constant.

I recently discovered Charles Cumming, a terrific British suspense writer who writes the more cerebral, John Le Carre-style espionage novel and is now being published in the US. When I was in England last summer, Charles and I were going to get together for a drink but our schedules didn’t mesh. I did read and enjoy his novel The Spanish Game, an excellent story about a former UK intelligence officer who is pulled into an intrigue in Madrid revolving around Basque separatists. I have his latest UK release, Typhoon, and am much looking forward to it. Another of Charles’s books, A Spy by Nature, is just out in the US. I think he’s a very good writer with a bright future.

I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s nonfiction: The Tipping Point and Blink were fascinating books. I have his newest, Outliers, on my bedside table.
One of my favorite books I read last year was Michael Chabon’s The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I thought it was just superb. His most recent, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, is high up on the stack.
I am a bit embarrassed to say that I often buy a book and it might take me a really long time to read it. Such is the case with Patrick McGilligan’s Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. I bought it a year ago (at least) but got it into my head I needed to see all the Hitchcock movies before I read it. That’s not going to happen. I’m fascinated by Hitchcock and that book is burning a hole in the shelf.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my to-read list. Anyone want to recommend a writer to Mark or confess to what’s on your to-be read stack?

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    mlm December 16, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Suggested reading:
    If you like the espionage/thriller type book, here are some of my favorite authors:
    1. Daniel Silva, former journalist, writes with intelligence and accuracy. Does very thorough research for all his books, which bolsters the plots. Has a soft spot for Israel, which I appreciate, and his writing of the inner-workings of the Mossad are entertaining and enlightening. I’d start from the beginning of the Gabriel Allon books, rather than with his most recent release MOSCOW RULES.
    2. Vince Flynn, very popular here in the States, just sold the movie rights to his Mitch Rapp (CIA spy) books. Easy reads, very clear “good vs. evil”, not highly cerebral. Lots of action, writes of real-world action ahead of time or in real time as if he’d been tipped off by the terrorists or those that fight them.
    3. Clive Cussler, for a more historical thriller. Not always quick to read, Cussler combines history and archaeology with his suspense action. I always feel like I’ve learned something by reading his books, something of real history and accurate NUMA treasure hunting.
    4. Robert Ludlum (may he rest in peace), the old school master. Made me love Jason Bourne before the movies threatened to dash such love to bits. Start from the beginning…
    (I’ve just bought ASBN and TSG by Charles Cummings…haven’t read them yet. We’ll see!!!)

    Kristan December 23, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I’m also queueing up Outliers! I loved Blink, although I had tried to read Tipping Point before that and found it slow, for some reason… Maybe being in college still affected my pacing, though.

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