Right now is a very literal term for me. While I know some people might read this headline and expect a dissertation regarding currently publishing authors, my brain doesn’t work that way. When I say “right now” I mean right this very second these are my choice authors and the list is subject to change next week, tomorrow, or thirty-six seconds after I hit publish. This functioning of my rapid-fire mind is an asset in ensuring a varied life but a great hindrance when filling out questionnaires or playing “What Would You Need on a Deserted Island”. Actually, that’s one’s pretty easy. It’s a cellphone guys. Always a cellphone. Even if I can’t call for help, I can look up all my notes on surviving on a deserted island. Yes, I have that. I also have recipes for cooking your way through the Zombie Apocalypse because success comes down to being prepared.
Daniel Friedman – Friedman is the author of Don’t Ever Get Old and Don’t Ever Look Back, a crime mystery series following Buck Shatz, a retired detective with a smart mouth and sharp attitude. Friedman also penned A Riot Most Uncouth: A Lord Byron Mystery which is possibly the most hilarious tale in historical mystery fiction I’ve ever read and I desperately hope there is a sequel in the making.
Friedman gives life to characters that are bizarre and complicated with a sardonic wit and embracing of the absurd that makes his work impossible to put down. Each one possesses a page turning plot that I can only stand to stop reading when I’m gut laughing at the uproarious dialogue.
Jefferson Bass – Yes, technically this is two authors: Dr. William (Bill) Bass and Jon Jefferson, but in my mind the collaborative efforts of the team have fused into one debonair wordsman who just happens to be a forensic anthropological genius.
Dr. Bass, world renowned forensics expert and founder of the Body Farm, lends his real-life criminal and anthropological cases to be fictionalized and aggrandized with the help of Jon Jefferson. The duo have created leading man Dr. Bill Brockton who spends his time outside of the classroom evading death and bringing criminals to justice by giving voice to the bones of their victims. Brockton is honest and charming albeit flawed in balancing outwitting the underworld and navigating his personal life.
To date, there are 10 novels and 2 novellas in the Body Farm Series (not to be confused with Patricia Cornwell’s The Body Farm to which Dr. Bass lends his likeness as character Dr. Thomas Katz). I have read them all and will be purchasing the next one as soon as it hits shelves.
For fairness sake (bragging rights?) I should mention here that I have met Dr. Bass several times and he is even more of a character than his fictional alter-ego. His work literally spearheads all we know in forensic technology today and he has the humor and smile to make talking about femur markings and cranial cavities the most interesting conversation you will have all year. His non-fiction work details his actual cases (with assistance from Jefferson) and are as engaging as their fictional counterparts.
Jenny Lawson – Better known as the Bloggess, Lawson has opened up her world to her readers and created a die-hard community. In the beginning, I read her blog as a sort of “time-out” from my life. Her raw, hysterical monologues were an uplifting break in my tumultuous days, but that was it. Now, I’ve read both of her books and I have a new respect for the blessing she is to the literary world. She approaches the gravest of subjects (suicide, chronic illness, depression, self-doubt) with a comical tone that makes the topic approachable and conversational without taking away from the brevity and realities of these conditions. She’s given a voice to those that were afraid to speak up and given pride to showcasing your scars.
I know there are a lot of people that will read this and think “yeah, she’s a funny blogger with a surprisingly marketable affinity for taxidermy, but she’s no great author”. I get that, I understand it because I was that person. But, the talent it takes to navigate the depths of despair she’s willing to showcase while still giving others hope and laughter…that’s an amazing gift. That’s amazing writing.
So, that’s my list for now. Check back in 36 seconds for updates or add your own in the comments.