Books - Fiction

C.J. Box returned to the program to talk about his latest book in a long-running crime series that features a protagonist who is a game warden in Wyoming. These books have attracted a significant readership and are routinely best-sellers.

As this story opens someone has just fired a bullet and readers are given the slow motion vantage point of that projectile as it passes over a long distance and eventually (in a couple of seconds) crashes through the window of a home and hits someone.

Clive Cussler, who died last month, was a publishing legend. Over the course of his long career Clive Cussler sold over 100 million books. Not bad, for a guy who had to resort to trickery to obtain his first publishing contract.

James Lee Burke has made more appearances on the program than any other author. In 2002 I interviewed him for his book "White Doves at Morning," a stand-alone novel that remains one of my favorite books that he has written. There are quite a few books to choose from, he will publish his 40th book in May.

I have many favorite interviews with Jim as well but I have to admit that this one holds a special place in my heart. Everything about it felt just right. If this isn't my favorite conversation with J.L.B. then it is certainly among the top three.

Meg Gardiner remembers living in southern California when a serial killer known as The Night Stalker was on the prowl. She derived her inspiration for her latest thriller, "The Dark Corners of the Night," from that real life crime rampage but this story is definitely a work of her imagination.

If you enjoy stories that keep you flipping pages while you are barely holding on to the edge of your chair then you might like this one. It contains the most exciting chase scene that I have read in years.

The astronomer Galileo had a daughter and they were very close. She lived a fairly cloistered life because she was a nun but she did keep a diary. The author Dava Sobel mined her diary entries to fashion a truly exquisite book. This has been Dava Sobel's only appearance on the program to date. What a pleasure it was to have a conversation with someone who is so articulate and who has such a fine mind.

If you asked me to name my favorite living writer in Ohio I would tell you it is Donald Ray Pollock. If you asked me to name my favorite living author in any other state I could not do it, with one exception: my favorite living author who lives in Alaska is a guy named John Straley. John lives in Sitka and he recently retired from his job as a public defender. Now he has time to write lots of books! Oh, how lucky we are.

When President Richard M. Nixon resigned from office he did so after millions of Americans had watched the Watergate hearings being broadcast from our US Congress on television. I was one of the viewers of that captivating, historic coverage. A number of journalists were able to use that exposure to a larger audience as a springboard to long, illustrious careers. One of those reporters was a young Jim Lehrer, he who went on to have a remarkable, distinguished career with PBS as the host of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

In a recent podcast post I mentioned how much I enjoy interviewing authors who have just published their first books. Sometimes those writers will go on to have successful careers. The majority of them will just keep plodding along without ever making any best-seller lists.

One of my favorite aspects about the process of talking to authors about their work are those times when I have opportunities to interview writers who have just published their first books. Some of these authors have gone on to become very well known. When that happens I like to recall what it was like to talk to them when they were still unknown, still fresh, still uncertain about their prospects.

Jess Montgomery returned to the program to talk about her second novel in her Kinship series of historical fiction. "The Hollows" is set in SE Ohio during the mid 1920s and her protagonist, the first female sheriff in Ohio, is trying to solve a mysterious death that she thinks might have been a homicide. Some members of her community are insisting that the death of this elderly woman was a suicide and that there's no reason to investigate any further.