From Lionel, January 2013: I just finished reading “The Walking Drum” by Louis L’Amour, a historical novel. Best book I’ve ever read.

From Doug: Dad, I’m still finishing the David Baldacci book, First Family, and then have his Hour Game to read, but with that recommendation, I’d like you to save it for me.

Don wrote: I just read the WORST novel I’ve ever read, called Son of Stone, by Stuart Woods. I’ve read his stuff before and it was OK, but I actually was rooting for all the Barringtons to get killed, then he killed the wife. I thought, cool, he’s going to redeem the book by killing the rest of them. But alas, he stopped with the one. I actually sent him an email, which I doubt he’ll respond to:

"I realize it’s too late for criticism, but I am reading Son of Stone and, for the first time in reading your books, I am gagging. I’m on page 170 and not only has nothing of consequence happened, but it reminds me of those Richie Rich comic books I read as a kid. Golly, isn’t life wonderful when you’re super rich and everything’s going your way? Here, have a million bucks, wow! thanks! you’re super, no YOU’RE super, gee, have ten more! ah shucks, aren’t we all swell? Maybe future books could be less fantasy-like and syrupy? And I’m pretty sure you can’t legally change your date of birth, or people would be doing it all the time to retire early."

From Lucy: I also read that and agree that it was one of the worst books ever! I also used to like his stuff. In this book, you actually WANT the characters to get killed! Your email was right on target, but I’m sure they won’t respond. I have only emailed authors a couple of times. I have emailed authors to tell them that the DMV doesn’t include vehicle color in their registration database. Only one author responded: J. A. Jance. She thanked me. I also told her her story where a beagle protected its owner was ridiculous, because a beagle would never protect anything but itself or its food bowl. She replied: “Beagle; point taken.”

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