Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Mini Challenge Recommendations

My apologies all. I had intended to put this post together earlier, but after taking most of the weekend off from everything else, the last couple days got a little crazy. So, let's tend to my Thankfully Reading Mini Challenge.

The idea was to suggest alternate authors for people who really enjoy the more well-known writers. One thing I absolutely hate is when a comparison is made between authors but it's never explained. For example, if I said, "fans of Craig Johnson will love Newby Smith." Well why? Does Newby Smith write about American Indians? Is Newby's book set in the West? Does Newby have rich characters with great relationships? Any of those factors could be why a fan loves Craig Johnson's work. So a flat statement is not helpful if the stater is thinking "people who read Craig Johnson like American Indians in their book." But reader is thinking, "Craig Johnson has such a rich sense of place in his writing, so Newby MUST write that same way." So, I asked people to offer a small explanation to try to overcome this communication breakdown and make their recommendations a lot more useful. Here are the results of what people recommended:

Kai at A Fiction State of Mind recommends Joe Hill for fans of Stephen King's horror writing. You can read more about her recommendation here.

Erin at Paperback Stash says she thinks you'll like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series, Candace Haven's Standalone books, and the Austin Carr series by Jack Getze if you like Sue Grafton. She gives you more information about her choices here.

Jennifer Smeth chose Jodi Picoult for her recommendation and she says, "If you really like Jodi Picoult, then you will like the new Kristina Riggle (THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD), the new Kristina McMorris (THE PIECES WE KEEP), and Jason Mott (THE RETURNED). All 3 books and authors take an issue, a circumstance, a world and show you that it's not just black and white. There is grey and there's beauty in the grey."

Another recommendation for Jodi Picoult readers came from Page-O-Meter:  If your reader really likes Jodi Picoult, I recommend: Nichole Bernier (The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.) or Elizabeth Silver (The Execution of Noa P. Singleton) - both authors write interesting mysteries nice twists at the end.

From the Editor's View we received:

 "If you really like James Patterson, LeCarre, et al, you'll like Douglas Richards' Wired, Amped, and his latest The Cure. Richards' plots take us to the cutting edge of technology and geo-political intrigue while making us care about his characters.

An author I read for the first time this year and want to see what's next is Ellen Ullman. Her By Blood is one of the most unusual novels of recent years, featuring a protagonist you won't like, and a story you can't put down."

And last but not least, I offer you my long-time friend and fellow blogger George Lichman who has a wee problem following directions. ;-) But since his recommendation was for Lou Berney, I'm going to give him a little leeway. (I introduced him to Lou Berney.) Check out who he thinks will like Lou Berney's books here

And since I created the challenge, I guess I should share a couple of my own.

If you have readers that enjoy John Grisham's legal thrillers, I would like to offer up the suggestions of David Ellis and debut author James DuPont. Both authors do a great job of blending the legal practice with a thrilling plot. DuPont also weaves in the military as his legal twist is from the JAG angle. While some legal thrillers tend to be nothing more than a lawyer in the protagonists seat, I walk away from both Ellis and DuPont's work feeling like I know a little more about the legal system itself.

And if your reader is piqued by the idea of legal systems outside the U.S. Lisa Ballantyne's THE GUILTY ONE and Liad Shoham's LINEUP both offer gripping tales. Ballantyne's in the UK and Shoham in Israel.

I'll also offer up a couple recommendations for Sue Grafton readers. If the person you're shopping for likes strong female protagonists in investigative-type roles my go-to gal is Alafair Burke. Ellie Hatcher remains my favorite female protagonist. A debut author who introduced a great new addition to the club this year is Ingrid Thoft with her debut LOYALTY.

And if it's Sue Grafton's humor that your reader connects with, both Burke and Thoft employ humor but a little heavier on the humor would be Lisa Lutz with her Spellmen Files series or Sophie Littlefield with her Stella Hardesty series.

Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions for the mini challenge. If you are looking for suggestions for a specific author, drop me an email, I'll be happy to try and help you out.

As for the prize winners in this challenge. Jennifer and Erin are my lucky winners. I'll be contacting them to get their book and audiobook preferences from the prize closet so I can send those out ASAP. But they will both also get a Jen's Book Thoughts tote bag.

Happy Reading!


Erin @ Paperback Stash December 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM  

EEEEEEK So excited about winning. I love reading tote bags and will carry it to work with pride :) It was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it. I found it a good idea to do and really had to think about it.

Such a fun Thankfully reading this year, thank you everyone.

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