Over the past few days I have been looking back at this previous year, specifically in regards to my reading history. And as I take inventory, I can't help but get excited. I've read so many writers for the first time, and my excitement has been very difficult to contain. I read the most books during a one-year span in my entire life. All in all, it has been a wonderful year when it comes to my reading. And this year is off to to a much bigger bang than last year.
Here is a list of writers I read for the first time this past year: Robert B. Parker (may he rest in peace), Bernhard Schlink, Michael Connelly, Scott Nicholson (one of my favorite storytellers), Shirley Jackson, Joe McKinney, Christopher Ransom, Richard Laymon (a master of horror), Gary A. Braunbeck, Jonathan Maberry (extremely talented writer), Dean Koontz, Brian Keene (a writer who gets you emotionally involved in the story), Jack Kilborn (delivers a ton of action), Jack Ketchum (another master), Wrath James White (no one grabs a reader and doesn't let go like him), John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, Bryan Smith (can tell one sick story), Paul Tremblay (just see my entry below about The Little Sleep), Tom Piccirilli, and Gord Rollo (another of my favorite storytellers, definitely my favorite Canadian storyteller :)), and Bob Ford (no one matches the raw emotional elements in his writing).
Whew! I was getting all worked up just writing that list. I feel foolish when I am finishing my books because I honestly am blown away by the satisfaction level that I keep attaining with each successive book. I feel like such a fanboy! I guess it's because I am!
And the best part is that I have been able to have some level of interaction with many of these writers via message boards or Twitter (I thought it was the stupidest thing ever when it came out, now I have a hard time going without it!). So, if any of the above writers or others that I read for the first time in the future happen across this post, please know I am not trying to be obnoxious or blow smoke up your butt when I compliment you. I sincerely mean it. It's just that my inner fanboy tends to get in the way.