• minman


Updated: Nov 2, 2019


DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE LITERARY GENRE? I ask these questions together because they are really intertwined. For example, if your genre is fantasy your favorite my be J K Rowling and your favorite books may be the Harry Potter series! The exciting information about reading is to consider what they have written and what you like to read without being bored. I have mentioned J K Rowling and her series, there is also Stephen King, Gary Paulson, children’s and young adult books with the title THE HATCHET, which comes to mind. Or Louis Lamour and his Old West series or Tony Hillerman with his Native American mystery series or Dan Brown, author of the DA VINCI CODE and other related titles and who cannot forget John Grisham with his courthouse and legal thriller series. And many other wonderful authors who entertain us with great books. The excitement for me is that I have always loved to read. Yes, I know I have mentioned it before in other articles, but it is true! I usually read for several reasons, to learn or be instructed, to be enlightened, motivated, or inspired, to be entertained. It is reading for entertainment that I would like to address in this article. Three authors that I have been mesmerized with for many years have been Dan Brown, Tony Hillerman, and John Grisham. So, you may be asking why these three out of the many hundreds of other authors and their works. Let’s consider the books of each author and I will tell you what I like about each one. There have been many times that I have just wanted to relax, do nothing and as someone has said: “curl up with a good book.” However, I really don’t remember “curling up”, instead, I would be totally captivated with my book. I would like to reflect on some of my thoughts about Dan Brown, Tony Hillerman, and John Grisham. DAN BROWN, Let’s talk about Dan Brown, I had just been appointed Utah, Idaho sales rep for BOOKS ON TAPE and had just received a box of samples. Imagine my delight when I discovered a complete set of THE DA VINCI CODE. I think our family wore it out as it became our favorite as we were traveling. Wikipedia tells us that Dan Brown, our easterner, was born Daniel Gerhard Brown on June 22, 1964, in Exeter, New Hampshire. His father, Richard G. Brown, was a math professor and also wrote textbooks. His mother was a church organist and a student of sacred music. Brown was very scholarly and attended Amherst College where he graduated in 1986. During the school year of 1985, he attended the University of Seville Spain where he enrolled in an art history class. As you can see, an education in writing from Amherst College and his year in Seville in art history prepared him to write about his chosen subjects. Dan is best known for his thriller novels, including the Robert Langdon novels: ANGELS AND DEMONS, (2000), THE DA VINCI CODE, (2003), THE LOST SYMBOL (2009), and ORIGIONS, (2017). His novels are treasure hunts that usually take place over a period of 24 hours.Dan met his wife, Blythe Newlon, a woman 12 years his senior as he graduated from Amherst. They met through the National Academy of Song Writers, Blythe was the Director of Artist Development and took an interest in Dan and his projects which included a children’s music cassette including tracks of: “HAPPY FROGS” and “Suzuki Chickens”. They were both living in Hollywood, California, Dan also taught classes at Beverly Hills Preparatory School to finance his career as a singer, songwriter, and pianist. Dan and Blythe returned to New Hampshire in 1993. They married in 1997 at Pea Porridge Pond, near Conway, New Hampshire. Brown became a full-time author in 1996 with his wife, Blythe, as promotion director doing press releases, press interviews and booking Brown on talk shows. With the success of their writing, Dan and Blythe have been very generous with endowments for computers and high tech equipment for students in need, as well as several other contributions for student scholarships and money for library development. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DAN BROWN NOVEL?For further information: http://danbrown.com TONY HILLERMAN

Our second author in the article is Anthony Grove (Tony) Hillerman. Born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, he also grew up in Oklahoma and attended elementary and high school with children of the Pottawattamie tribe. He served in the military (World War II) from 1943 to 1945. He earned the Silver Star, The Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. After the war he attended the University of Oklahoma, meeting his wife, Marie Unzner. They married and have one biological child, Anne Hillerman, and five adopted children. Tony died on October 26, 2008, at the age of 83. Tony Hillerman is the only one of these three that I have ever heard speak in person. My wife and I learned that he had been invited to speak at a writer’s seminar at the University of Utah so we took advantage of the opportunity to attend. I had always enjoyed reading his books but I especially enjoyed hearing Tony speak. He was a very entertaining and engaging speaker. Since our son has been an instructor in creative writing we shared this amusing information with him. Tony instructed anyone in the audience who wanted to write a book to have a “grocery cart” which you then fill with any kind of “information” to include in your writing. As you can well imagine, this “grocery cart” can be your file that you fill with your ideas or your research that contribute to the successful completion of your book. According to Wikipedia, from 1948 to 1962 he worked as a journalist, first in Santa Fe, New Mexico, then moved to Albuquerque where he earned a Master’s Degree from the University of New Mexico. He taught Journalism at the University of New Mexico from 1966 to 1987 and began writing novels. He and his wife were married for 60 years and had ten grandchildren. The literary works of Tony Hillerman included a total of 30 titles, of which 18 were in his Navajo series. Other works were a memoir and books about the southwest, its beauty, and history. His literary honors were awarded for his Navajo titles. His fiction and non-fiction titles were based on his appreciation of the wonders of the American southwest as well as details of Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo people in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. The characters in his stories were Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo tribal police and their stories in THE BLESSING WAY, PEOPLE OF DARKNESS, SKIN WALKERS and other interesting adventures. As an educator, a journalist, and a novelist, Tony has been a favorite author in New Mexico, the southwest and also a favorite author of mine. I didn’t realize until I was filling my “Tony Hillerman grocery cart” in my research of interesting material is that in 2013, Anne Hillerman published the first novel since 2006 continuing the stories of Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal characters. The titles in her new series are: SPIDER WOMAN’S DAUGHTER, then ROKS WITH WINGS, in 2015, followed by SONG OF THE LION in 2017 and CASE OF BONES in 2017.

What a great way to continue the great legacy of her father and a way to continue a popular series. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TONY HILLERMAN OR ANNE HILLERMAN NOVEL? JOHN GRISHAM

The next author of my big 3 top authors is John Grisham. I have probably read more of his titles and know more about the settings of his writings in the southern part of the USA and specifically the state of Mississippi. The University of Mississippi in Oxford also known as Ole Miss has benefitted from contributions of real estate and from endowments. John earned his JD (Juris Doctor of Law)from Ole Miss. Wikipedia tells us that John Ray Grisham was born on February 8, 1955, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He earned a BS from Mississippi State University and as previously noted his JD from the University of Mississippi. He married Renee Grisham in 1981, they have two children, Shea, born 1986 and Ty born in 1983. He later served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from the 7th District from 1984 to 1990. For me, John Grisham is an excellent author, probably my favorite of the three named in this article with Tony Hillerman being a close second. Grisham has written books in the following genre: baseball, football, legal thriller, crime fiction and southern gothic. I have read his books on airplanes, in the comfort of my living room or family room. I have even read a Grisham novel in the family room of my son's home in Oxford, Mississippi imaging the happenings going on at Courthouse Square in downtown Oxford. When I get a new book I can hardly put it down until I finish it. I don’t think I have ever personally bought a Grisham novel. They are usually given to me as gifts by my daughter and grandson and then returned to the giver so either she or my wife can read them. Some interesting facts about John Grisham: As of 2012, his books have sold over 275 million copies. Think of the titles since 2012 and that figure multiplies considerably. Grisham is only one of three authors to sell two million copies of the first printing, the other two being Tom Clancy and J K Rowling. His first best-seller, THE FIRM, sold more than seven million copies. Another interesting fact, in 2010 he began writing a series of legal thrillers for children ages 9 through 12. It features Theodore Bone, a 13-year-old boy who gives his classmates legal advise ranging from rescuing impounded dogs to helping their parents prevent their house from being repossessed. This series was inspired by his daughter, Shea, a fifth-grade teacher in North Carolina. His goal was to entertain and interest kids. And to inform them in a subtle way about the law. His daughter states when she got her kids to read the books, several expressed interest in studying the legal profession. In total, Grisham has written 40 novels, with 11 being made into films. He has also written short stories and about 3 non-fiction works. As I read his bibliography of the non-fiction works, one title stuck out that I haven’t read: DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB: ACCLAIMED AUTHORS AND THE DAY JOBS THEY QUIT, (2010), If you were to ask me what is my favorite Grisham novel, I would probably say, the one I am reading at the present time. That is also the answer to the question, what is your favorite book? The one I am presently reading! I have never read a Grisham novel I haven’t liked. I hope to continue reading his novels as long as he keeps writing them. If he works to the age of 65 when people retire, that would be the year 2020. We’ll see what happens! DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE GRISHAM NOVEL? (www.jgrisham.com) (Info retrieved from Wikipedia)

All of Dan Brown's novels, as well as Tony and Anne Hillerman's novels and John Grisham novels, are available on Amazon! Access Amazon through our website, www.infoproductsunlimited.com We invite you to become better acquainted with these authors to have an entertaining experience!

Thank you for reading! Please leave your comments!

Michael Inman

Encouraging Literacy, Learning and Personal Development!

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