I have written the great American novel and sent my works to many publishers with no luck. I used to joke that I could wall paper my house with rejects. I guess I am kind of like Snoopy in Peanuts. I wrote a children’s book and tried to find the right illustrator with little luck and no takers. I wrote a science fiction novel that was met with little interest. It took me years to complete a page by page layperson non fiction analysis of the New Testament. (I have not tried to publish that yet.) I have a few other unfinished pieces that I am hoping to finish this year. One is a non fiction account of the last union campaign I directed in Corona, California. I kept a diary of the organizing progress as I ran the campaign. Lynn Feekin of The Labor and Education Research Center at the University of Oregon has offered her help in transforming my transcripts, but each time I try to tie it all together, I get bogged on another project.
Some writers just seem to be able to flow their thoughts on paper. I read quite a bit about all subjects, but here is a list of my favorite “mind candy” fiction writers when I want a quick escape:
1. John Irving-A Prayer for Owen Meany and Cider House Rules are just wonderful reads. A Son of the Circus, The Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp are worth the time also. You do not want nay of his books to end.
2. James Michener-I love the way he weaves between real and fiction in his semi-historical writing. I love The Source and how it explains much about people of Jewish heritage. Hawaii, Space, Chesapeake are just a few of many great reads. You can’t be intimidated by the thickness of the books. They go quick!
3. Tom Robbins-Skinny Legs and All, Another Roadside Attraction and Still Life with Woodpecker will open your minds to all sorts of strange thoughts. How Robbins can bring to life inanimate objects and give them thought processes is just genius.
4. Jean Auel-How can you not love the center character of Ayla in the Earth Children Series? And you have to admire the detail of anthropological theory that goes along with the story lines. Many have copied her story line, but not with the success of Ms. Auel.
5. Edward Rutherford-If you like English folklore or have an interest in London England, you must read Sarum. This book is a romp through history. One of the quicker reads. Russka is another of his more famous works that is worth the time.
6. Orson Scott Card-Enders Game is one of those reads that can be enjoyed buy all ages. It is rumored to be coming soon on the big screen. Xenocide, Chidren of the Mind and others will leave you with great wonderment of a Mormon with long family ties back to Brigham Young. He is an outspoken Democrat. Like minds....
7. James Lee Burke-His descriptive writing of the New Orleans area is wonderful. His macho character Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorites. Black Cherry Blues and Cimmeron Rose are good to start with.
8. John Updike-If you want a good perspective of the male mind, read Rabbit, Run. If you enjoy that, you have to read Rabbit Redux and Rabbit at Rest.
9. Jonathan Kellerman-Alex Delaware is a complex psychologist that is mixed up in strange situations in When the Bough Breaks, Silent Partner and The Murder Book. His wife Kaye is also a good read.
10. Tim Dorsey-This writer is funny and irrelevant. His main character Serge A Storms is a Psychotic mass murderer that you have to like. My son Jacob is a big fan. Cadillac Beach and Torpedo Juice should be read where people can’t hear you laugh.
Sometime in the near future I will write about my 10 favorite books. Some were written by authors not on my top ten list.