C.J. Box. Ya-hoo!
OK, that’s out of my system now.
I picked up a book by best-selling mystery author C.J. Box three or four years ago and devoured it. Then read a second. Then, like I’m known to do, I moved on to a million other authors in the various genres. I never completely forgot about Box and his character, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. He was just temporarily on the back burner. So many wonderful authors, so little time.
I was reminded how much I liked Box’s writing style – for some reason I look at him as a cross between Louis L’Amour and Mary Higgins Clark – when I found out he was one of the authors at the 2013 Solano County Library Foundation’s Authors Luncheon on Nov. 3.
Some of my favorite big-name authors have been part of the fundraising event in the past – most recently Catherine Coulter and Cara Black. Now I can add Box to the list.
Box is the real deal when it comes to living in and writing about the Intermountain West – an area where I spent 10 years of my life. Box is the Chris LeDoux of the writing world to me. Country singer LeDoux died in 2005, after he brought his knowledge, love and passion of Wyoming and the rest of the Rocky Mountain West to those who listened to his music. (Incidentally, Box’s mysteries aren’t set too, too far from LeDoux’s home base, Kaycee, Wyo.)
Box, while he weaves a terrifying mystery, also brings the geographical area and demographics to his readers. I like that about his books. His writing allows me to envision roads traveled and scenery viewed by Pickett or his other characters as the story unfolds. However, that could be because I’ve crisscrossed Utah, Wyoming and Colorado more times than I can count.
Example: I started reading his new Pickett book, “Breaking Point,” a few days ago. I felt as if I was traveling with two Environmental Protection Agency agents out of Denver and up into Wyoming. Cheyenne, Casper, Kaycee. Then I was along for the ride as Pickett rode his horse Toby in the course of his work – not too many pages before the gruesome discovery of my EPA “travel mates.”
No, no, no. I didn’t give away any plot lines. That much you can find out if you read the inside flap synopsis of the book.
Oh yeah, I felt like I was at the crime scene, too. Gross.
I was even “there” when Pickett expressed exasperation at his new dog “Hoovering” up the horse droppings. Been there, done that one in real life. Now that’s really gross – just wait until that big ol’ tongue comes at you for a lick.
My point is that his writing is vivid, it’s real, it describes, and he does it without using overflowery prose. Some people, like me, will be able to identify with his writing and others will learn something new in the course of a really good mystery.
Box’s newest book is “The Highway,” featuring a character he’s brought back from a previous book. It looks like a good candidate to download onto my e-reader.
But the Authors Luncheon isn’t all about Box. Several other awesome authors will share their stories as well.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is touted as a best-selling author, poet, activist and teacher. Her newest is “Oleander Girl,” which is an Oprah Book Club recommendation. In reading the description – clash between old and new, intolerance and desire as a young woman discovers a secret that ultimately changes her – it looks like one I plan to pick up rather soon. I know several people in my book circles who have read Divakaruni’s books and have enjoyed them.
Karen Joy Fowler and “The Jane Austen Book Club” was a thrill to see in the lineup, as well. She’s another, “Oh yeah . . . I read a book by her a while ago that I really, really liked.” I read the bestselling Jane Austen tome a few years ago. Even though I would not call myself a Jane Austen fan – as in reading all those Jane Austen tributes such as “Austenland” – I thoroughly enjoyed Fowler’s book. Her newest book is “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” The name alone makes me curious.
Rounding out the lineup is Carolyn Singer, with her award-winning book “The Seasoned Gardener” and Mike Adamick’s “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects.” I investigated both books via websites and was definitely intrigued. Singer has some interesting articles on her website for the gardening enthusiast and Adamick makes me wish my kids were young once again. I mean, who would have thought of using Modge Podge and comic books to create “new” shoes? It also brought back memories of making homemade Play-Doh with my kids.
More information about the luncheon is available on the Solano County Library Foundation’s website, www.solanolibraryfoundation.org/luncheon.html.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.