Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All I want for Christmas...Part II

by John

Dear Santa:

Well, I’ve been extra good this past weekeven (mostly) stayed away from the holiday treats in the DGLM kitchen. So I’m hoping you’ll accept this semi-serious wish list of adult books I’d like to find under the Christmas tree:

ROCK N’ ROLL! Santa, you gave the world a rockin’ gift in 2010 with Keith Richards’ Lifehow about tossing me a major rock star bio in 2011? I’m sure some other members of the old guard are ready to tell all. (I’m looking at you, Eltonyou, too, Sir Paul.) Okay, if that’s too tall an order, then I’d love to see other nonfiction books on music: bio, analysis, etc. And if there’s a QUALIFIED rock critic out there, I think all those kids looking to build a record collection could use an updated album guide.

NARRATIVE NON-FICTION: Santa, I’ve sung the praises of Nathaniel Philbrick before on this blog, but this time I want to point out how Nat brings historical events to life through the characters involved—whether it’s cabin boy Thomas Nickerson leading us through the whaling disaster of In the Heart of the Sea, or Massasoit greeting the Pilgrims in Mayflower, throughout Nat’s career critics often remark how his books read like novels, and I think it’s due primarily to this character-based approach. So while I’m wide-open in terms of subject matter, I would love to see this character-based, novelistic style, be it history, politics, entertainment, true crime, etc.

FICTION: I want to laugh! Santa, surely there’s a funny novel you can send my way. I also want to see novel characters sober upso many of the novels I see have main characters indulging in or struggling with alcohol or drugs, and most of the time that has nothing to do with the main story. Finally, if you’re going to send me historical fiction, Santa, please let it be really historicallike, pre-1970? Too often, it feels like the novels I see set in the 70s, 80s, even the 90s are actually contemporary stories stuck in the wrong eralike substance abuse, the historical details don’t really seem necessary to the story, and instead come across as clichéd or anachronistic.

CRIME/MYSTERY/THRILLERS: Being that these are genre books, certain conventions are unavoidable. But Santa, can you please send me something with a new angle? I’m not sure what that angle is, but I know it isn’t a college professor who uncovers a secret global religious conspiracy or new evidence about the Bible.

SPORTS: Well, I do want some kind of sports storyagain, preferably a character-based narrative piece. But I’d be just as happy if the Giants win the Super Bowl in January…

Thank you, Santa, for reading this list. I can’t wait to open all these presents in 2011!

Happy holidays,


  1. As my team doesn't have a chance in hell of going to the Super Bowl this year, I'm okay with the Giants winning--especially since my favorite Super Bowl ever was when the Giants beat the Patriots. :)

  2. First off go Giants. Also my favorite team even though I sit on my island in south Jersey inundated with Eagles fans.

    And secondly, would you consider sports fiction, the high school football type?

  3. John, I'm sorry but I don't think I'll be helping Santa in your case. But my hubby has a historical fiction on the works, and it's really historical - 19WWII, so maybe he can help Santa in your case.
    But don't worry, I'll try to help Santa in your children wish list, so perhaps our paths can cross.
    By the way, quick question: how common it is to have a couple in writing? I don't know many cases.

  4. Dave Mustaine's bio came out in 2010 as well, and according to my 15 year old son, it was very good. I agree with the qualified rock critic and an album guide - especially after trolling used record stores with aforementioned son this summer. He's a picky thing.

  5. I agree, it's nice to see Rock and Roll take the literary stage this year. They're keeping the reading rockin' :)

  6. Sing along John, Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry. You better not pout with queries piled high, Santa Claus is bringing you a NY Times bestseller next year. May all your "requests" be true.

  7. John, I hope you get something un-put-downable in every category!

  8. Hey Folks, thanks for all the comments and good wishes. Indeed, I'm interested in sports fiction, so feel free to send me a query. And I hope you'll cheer on Big Blue this Sunday--HUGE game!

    Happy holidays,

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