The cost of furniture being what it is, the question arises: Does anybody really place cups of coffee on their coffee tables? What about coasters? We think big books are more likely to end up there, so here we suggest a few that are suitable for holiday gift-giving. These and other big-book titles we’ll name in coming columns are spectacular, filled with first-rate photos, illustrations and informative text.
Evanovich on video
More than 1,000 fans filled the Scottish Rite Center on Nov. 21 to see mega-best-selling romantic-suspense author Janet Evanovich in conversation with yours truly. She’s promoting her new Stephanie Plum novel, “Takedown Twenty” (Bantam, $28, 320 pages), which follows the New Jersey-based bounty hunter and her zany pals on their latest adventure. If you weren’t able to attend the event, do so vicariously via two videos at www.sacbee.com/links .
Out of Florida
When we think about the many ecologically minded novelists whose works are Florida-centric, the list invariably includes satirist Carl Hiaasen (“Bad Monkey”), humorist Dave Barry (“Insane City”), thriller writer Randy Wayne White (“Night Moves”) and the late John D. MacDonald, whose 21-volume Travis McGee series was published between 1964 and 1985 and helped raise the bar for mystery writers to follow.
Edgar Award-winner James W. Hall is another Florida writer concerned with the environment, as shown through the hero of his sometimes violent 13-title series, the taciturn beach bum known simply as Thorn. “He’s a Henry David Thoreau with a .357 magnum and a dark past,” Hall once told me. “He’s based on a certain kind of character I knew pretty well from years of living in the Keys – ‘Don’t tread on me; I don’t want to be connected to the grid; I came here to reinvent myself.’”
In “Going Dark,” Thorn goes undercover inside the Earth Liberation Front to thwart a plot to created a meltdown at Turkey Point, the nuclear power plant near Homestead, outside of Key Largo (Minotaur, $25.99, 304 pages). Along the way, he rescues his son from the band of true believers.
High adventure in the sun – what’s not to like?
LET US KNOW
If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org least two weeks before the event. To read the online calendar, go to www.sacbee.com/books. Questions? Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.