This is the time of year when thoughts turn to gift-giving. Could you suggest four books that would be ideal for "x" type of person?
For cooks (or cook wannabes): I’m assuming that you already have a copy of MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK (my recipe: Killer Tofu!), so I won’t suggest buying one yourself, but they do make great gifts.
Recently, I picked up a copy of THE COMPLETE AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN TV SHOW COOKBOOK, which consists of more than 1150 recipes from the ATK cooking show (they weren’t lying about the COMPLETE part). I used to watch the show whenever I could, and it appealed to the tinkerer in me. The test kitchen cooks would “crack open” a classic recipe and try different things (methods, ingredients, etc.) in an attempt to improve upon the original, and they’d describe what worked (and why) and what didn’t (and why). Science! Food! Recipes!
For writers: Last week, RM recommended ON WRITING by Stephen King, a book that I love. So I’ll recommend another book, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass. A great book for those of us looking to up the stakes and increase the tension in our novels, from the first sentence to the last. There’s a companion workbook, too!
For those who’ve never read John R. Powers: This not-well-known author wrote a very underappreciated coming-of-age trilogy back in the Seventies: THE LAST CATHOLIC IN AMERICA, DO BLACK PATENT LEATHER SHOES REALLY REFLECT UP?, and THE UNORIGINAL SINNER AND THE ICE-CREAM GOD. If you haven’t read these books, I’d suggest giving them a try. No flashy car chases. No space aliens. No drive-by shootings or double-crosses or evil twins. From time to time I’ll recommend these books to my friends and I often get blank looks. (Heck, I can see some of you now with blank looks!)
And finally, For Kindle Readers Who Like FREE BOOKS: I’m going to put my book where my mouth is. Instead of just suggesting a book as a gift, I’m going to give you a book as a gift! I’m making the Kindle version of my suspense novel RIDE-ALONG FREE! Absolutely free, no strings attached. Go HERE and download your free Kindle version (only good today through Monday, November 21). Don’t say I never gave you anything! Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell your friends’ families! Did I mention it’s FREE? (And if you’d like to give me a gift in return and can spare a few minutes, I’d appreciate an honest Amazon review after you’ve read the book. Thanks!)