BL’s Book Recommends


BL BOOKS BOOKS

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Blondie and I each listen to 100+ audiobooks each year via Audible.com.  “Listening to books” is not what it was years ago.  All the books are in your smart phone.   These author recommends are for readers and listeners.   Authors are like Barbecue and Bond Girls.   We all have our own favorites.  These are mine and Blondie’s.  Check’em out.  You might like’em too.

Address any comments to BobLee … [email protected]   It will be a running dialogue between “us” and anyone with opinions about Books / Authors … want to agree / disagree with us … or offer your own favorites..

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NOTE:  Certain well-known authors no longer appear here.   Over the past several years, they chose to go public and loudly how much they “Hate Trump & His Supporters”.   That would include me, of course.   Their choice to do so … my choice to no longer read their books or promote them.  Its the least I can do.

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What BobLee is currently reading… 

I REALLY LIKEVince Milam’s “Case Lee” series  … so far a six book series  – I’ve read’em all – all titles with the word “Job”.  … “Case Suriname JobLee” is a former Delta operative now doing “special assignments” for a mysterious Swiss-based agency.

His former Delta buddies – Marcus, Catch, and Bo – show up to help when the bullets & blood get to flowing fast.  Lots of action and the reoccurring characters are very likable. … I read a lot in this genre and this series is near the Top of My List.   … The Suriname Job is Book #1 in series.  Wait ’til you met “Jules w/ The Clubhouse” and Tito Juarez … and “Bo”.

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What BLONDIE is currently reading…  BLONDIE loves anything set in England and UK especially stories set in early 20th century.  Currently T.E. Kinsey’sLady Emily Hardcastle Mysteries.  She is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. … BUT…

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Why Is Crime Fiction So Popular…

The popularity of Crime Fiction might wax and wane but at the end of the day, it still remains one of the most popular genres. … READ MORE …

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.Some of Our Favorite Authors are…..

CJ BoxCJ Box

I hesitate to burden C.J. Box as My #1 Favorite but he is.  I encourage you to check him out.   His hero in a 15+-book series is Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett.   Joe is not a former spec ops commando. …  just a Game Warden, husband, father with a strong sense of Dudley Do-Right.   His ever-lurking sidekick – Nate Romanowski – is a stone-cold killer.  The character ensemble in Box’s “Joe Pickett”s Adventures are among the best I’ve found especially Wyoming Governor Spencer Rulon…  I’ve never recommended CJ and  Joe to anyone that did not thank me later for doing so.

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John D MacDonaldJohn D MacDonald

Everyone loves “Travis McGee”.   Think Magnum PI w/ Tom Selleck living on a houseboat (“The Busted Flush”) at Bahia Mar in South Florida.   Travis saves damsels in distress then they leave and another one takes their place.   Travis McGee is “iconic” in the independent renaissance man “fixer”/ PI genre similar to Robert Parker’s “Spenser”.   18-20 books in the series.  The ideal “beach books”. … … NOTE:  Blondie has a special place in her heart for Travis… as most women do.

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Lee Child

“Jack Reacher” is the #1 iconic figure in current crime / mystery fiction. You cannot read that genre without knowing “Reacher”. There is no literary character quite like “Reacher – The ultimate Lone Wolf.  There is violence wherever Reacher goes and he, and a toothbrush, are always going.

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Clive Cussler

I met Dirk Pitt” and the NUMA staff over 20 years ago.   This is Indiana Jones-type High Adventure stuff.   Dirk is a modern day pulp fiction hero of the 30s.    Over-the-top adventures with James Bond-type villains.   Cussler has co-authored several other similar series that I enjoy especially The Oregon Files and Isaac Bell.

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Angus DonaldAngus Donald

His Outlaw Chronicles is an 8-book series of great historical fiction about Robin Hood as told through Alan Dale.  I compare this to Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove series.  It is THAT GOOD.   In the same category as Louis L’Amour’s “Sacketts series”.   Definitely read these in order.

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Stephen Hunter

His hero is Bob Lee Swagger a/k/a “Bob The Nailer” !!!   Duh!  Swagger is a “Rambo” combat veteran (super sniper) who just wants to be left alone in his Idaho ranch…. but Nooo!   Danger keeps calling.   Hunter has adventure yarns about Bob Lee and about his father – Earl.   Bob Lee ages in the series so the most recent books have an older Bob Lee.   Bob Lee and Reacher are a lot alike.

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Louis L’AmourSacketts

The consummate Western writer known for his “cowboy stories” but my ALL-TIME FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTER is L’Amour’s BARNABAS SACKETTset in Very Early America around Lost Colony era.   Barnabas leaves England for The New World with adventures versus pirates, brigands and “native Americans” (!).   There are 5-6 books that trace Barnabas’ sons / grandsons in their adventures.  He is just a special brand of heroic character.   Barnabas’ death is as memorable as Gus McRae’s in Lonesome Dove.  Has to be read in series order.

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Preston & Childs

Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast in a 14+ book series.   Pendergast is a combo of Sherlock Holmes / Dirk Pitt / Van Helsing.   Lots of scary, supernatural bad guys “in the sewers of New York” and “swamps of Louisiana”……. probably not for everyone but I really like Pendergast.

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Matthew Reilly

A Clive Cusser / James Rollins – type.   Over-the-top High Adventures saving the world from mega-villains.   Reilly has a short series featuring Call-Sign Scarecrow that I really enjoy.   Very much predictable “formula” stories but so what?

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Ted Bell

Ian Fleming lives on with Ted Bell thru his hero Alex Hawke.   The Bond similarities are numerous… the urbane British Bond-thing, you will like Sir Alex Hawke and his international derring-do with super-villains. … Blondie and I met Ted Bell at a fancy soiree at The Breakers in Palm Beach 10 years ago. … nice fella!

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Nelson DeMille

DeMille’s “Gold Coast” featuring John Sutter is one of my 2-3 all-time favorite stories.  The sequel – Gate House – is almost as good.   DeMille’s John Corey stories are FBI guy versus diabolical Islamo-terrorist genre.

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Vince Flynn, Ben Coes, Mark Greany …

I include these three together because their heroes are so similar.   Mitch Rapp – Dewey Andreas – The Gray Man.   Enjoy one you will likely enjoy them all.   “Mitch” is almost on Reacher’s level of reader popularity.   All spec ops guys who have “issues” with bureaucrats (and bureaucrats have issues with them!).    These guys do NOT play well with others…. especially Islamo-terrorists.

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Other Favorites We’re Always Reading:

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Wayne Stinnett … “Jesse McDermitt” … a literary cousin of Travis McGee.  A retired Marine sniper living on an island in the Keys.  Does “special assignments” for Homeland Security.

Robert Crais ..“Elvis Cole & Joe Pike” … “Elvis” is a PI in LA.  “Joe” is his homicidal partner. … similar to CJ Box’s “Nate”.

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Terry L Price
Terry L Price
6 months ago

Bob Lee, I know most of the recommended books on your book club site have been of the mystery/super spy/lone assassin (good guy done wrong by the system) genre and I confess that I too read these types. You being the wordsmith that you are, I would like to recommend to you and Blondie a change of pace, the PG Woodhouse series of Wooster and Jeeves. While these are generally of the 1920″s and 30’s screwball madcap comedy variety, I think you would enjoy these as the word usage by Woodhouse is absolutely brilliant. Give one a try I think… Read more »

BobLee
Admin
6 months ago
Reply to  Terry L Price

Thanks. I’ll check’em out. I’ll trade you author Vince Milam’s “Case Lee” series.

Shawna
Shawna
10 months ago

I’m newer too the Joe Pickett series. I’m enjoying it, but I get really disappointed with so many little plot discrepancies. IE his beloved dog Daisy finally got too old and was suffering, so she had to be put down. Joe inherited a new dog “Tube” a funny Lab-Corgy mix from the poaching bow hunter who was killing and maiming animals; the new dog Tube being one of the animals that got shot by with an arrow and had to have surgery but recovered. Joe brought Tube home to cheer up the family after losing Daisy and, in the next… Read more »

BobLee
Admin
10 months ago
Reply to  Shawna

Its my understanding that CJ Box and Craig Johnson are not the best of friends. Both write in the same genre niche… are both well-established and quite successful but “have a history”.

Shawna
Shawna
10 months ago
Reply to  BobLee

Since reading most of the Joe Pickett series and all of the Walt Longmire series except the new one to be released on the 22nd; I’m not surprised they have a “history.” This will sound harsh, but C.J. has blatantly copied some of Craig Johnson’s storylines. . Craig’s writing is consistent and well thought out, C.J. is hurried, and just wants to churn out books, I wouldn’t be surprised if C.J. has a ghost writer and isn’t even writing his own books, him and his editors are doing a poor job of keeping everything straight, when they can’t even remember… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Shawna
BobLee
Admin
10 months ago
Reply to  Shawna

I’ve read every “Joe Pickett” book and only two “Longmires” so I am partial to CJ Box. There are several other authors who are writing in the same niche genre of Montana / Wyoming / Idaho LEOs. I’m reading a 4-book series now by Ridley Pearson about a sheriff in Sun Valley, Idaho. There’s another series by Jeff Carson about a Colorado Sheriff – David Wolf. And, of course, the current hit TV series Yellowstone w/ Kevin Costner.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Harlan Coben has 3 Netflix mini series out now, two of which are set in the UK. The most recent is set in Poland. Pretty good stuff, they usually unravel a bit at the end but he keeps you dialed in the whole time.

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob

I wish he has not discontinued his Myron Bolitar series.

Terry Price
Terry Price
1 year ago

Ditto on most all of your Take a look at the Kevin Kearny books written by Michael McGarrity. Southwest in locale with Kearny being a retired, then employed, then retired, policeman. Good mysteries along with Kearney’s moral compass (think Joe Pickett), his sense of decency in relating to people (think Reacher), his determination to solve crimes (think Joe Leaphorn) and you have a really great series. 12 or 13 so far.

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry Price

If Audible has him … I’ll check him out. Thanks

Leroy Rogers
Leroy Rogers
1 year ago

Mr. Lee you seem to enjoy the Jack Ryan kind of character so give this one a shot, ‘People’s Republic’ by Kurt Schlichter. This is the first of four (I think) and so far I’ve read three (took a break, will be reading the last one soon). The protagonist is an ex-Army special ops bad-a$$ (aren’t they all) but the twist is the country has split in two in a not so amicable divorce. If nothing else these books will educate you on the absurdity of political correctness and the complexities of proper pronoun usage among the ‘woke’. Lots of… Read more »

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Leroy Rogers

Thanks. Not familiar with him.

Fayettewuf
Fayettewuf
1 year ago

I was always having the Walt Longmire series suggested probably because I have listened to all the Joe Pickett books. Walt is a sheriff in Wyoming. I am listening to the first in the series now A Cold Dish. Like it a lot so far.

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Fayettewuf

A LOT of readers like both Craig Johnson (Longmire) and CJ Box (Joe Pickett) for the whole modern-day Western Thing.. I’ve read 1-2 Longmires and they’re OK I just prefer CJ and Joe and Nate…

Conway Chewning
Conway Chewning
1 year ago

+1 on the Gabriel Wolfe series, very good. The latest Demile book Deserter is good , not up to John Cory , but good . Better than Cuba. Keep up the good work . Regards, Conway Chewning

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago

Deserter is in my queue to listen to. DeMille’s Gold Coast in in my Top Five AllTime favs. I was not crazy about Cuba either.

Wolfdon
Wolfdon
1 year ago

Enjoying Gold Coast thanks!

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Wolfdon

I LOVED that book. One of Five BEST EVERs…. Sequel – The Gate House – is good but not quite as….

Steve Stacy
Steve Stacy
1 year ago

I’d say you pretty well nailed it with this list!

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Stacy

And I keep discovering NEW ONES! Lordy, do I love listening to BOOKS!

Wolfdon
Wolfdon
1 year ago

I am enjoying Ann Cleeves series related to the Shetland isle in Scotland

Also EDUCATED was a powerful book, have you read it?

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Wolfdon

Blondie LOVES Anything set in England & British Isles.
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Have NOT read EDUCATED. Will check it out.

Ruth.N.Wyoming
Ruth.N.Wyoming
1 year ago

Very cool! Great job. Now have a better book list which I will not misplace!

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ruth.N.Wyoming

We look forward to developing an audience of Book-Lovers !!! Usually very nice folks.

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago

What do YOU think? Agree with our choices? Who are YOUR Favorites? …

Down East Heel
Down East Heel
1 year ago
Reply to  BobLee

You have put me on some good options in the past. (CJ Box most notable). Current read is The Night Fire by Michael Connelly. Check out Mark Greaney Gray Man series and Gregg Hurwitz Orphan X series if you haven’t already.

BobLee
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Down East Heel

Have not read the last few Gray Mans … read EVERY Evan Smoak / Orphan X as soon as they come out. I want Evan’s Penthouse !!

I am currently reading lots of High Adventure stories … Indiana Jones / Lara Croft-type “archeological adventures” … Andy McDermott has a great series.

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