Tag Archives: Janet Evanovich

5 Novels I Can’t Live Without


When I realized I wrote in a similar manner to Janet Evanovich, I began to study her books to see how she does what she does. And, of course, I’m forever in her debt for introducing me to Ranger.

We read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” in our book club. It touched every emotion I had. Well done, Rachel Joyce.

When our kids were young, we took a long road trip and listened to the audio version of Jennifer Donnelly’s “A Northern Light” in the car. It captivated all five of us, often making us sit in a parking lot at our destination to hear the end of the chapter. When we got home I read it to see how she did what she did. Still not entirely sure.

I have four copies of Zippy. I lend them all the time, but never want to be without one myself. I love Zippy and Haven Kimmel like petunias love sunshine. It’s one of the very few books I’ve lifted to “You Betcha, I’ll Read It Again” status. It does three things to me simultaneously … laugh hysterically, break my heart thus turning me into a little puddle of sobbing Becky, and curse the day the writing bug bit me because I’ll never be Haven Kimmel.

Garrison Keillor and I go way back. When I was a young’un, my dad would dial up his “Prairie Home Companion” show on the car radio and we’d load into the car for a drive while we listened. If we were lucky, we’d watch a thunderstorm roll toward us, engulf us, then release us while we caught up on the news from the Sidetrack Tap, the Chatterbox Cafe, Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery and Bertha’s Kitty Boutique.

To this day radio static always makes me smile.

What are the five novels you can’t live without?

Literature Map

So, I was thinking of buying Someone a book and I was looking for ideas. I knew s/he liked certain authors so I remembered this helpful website.

You just type the name of the author into the box and it gives you a chart of other writers’ names. The closer they are in proximity to the name you typed in, the more similar their writing style is and the likelier the reader would like them.

Here’s Janet Evanovich…

Here’s my pal Julie Anne Peters …

Here’s another of my favorites, Mary Roach …

And you can click on any of the names and go further. So from Mary Roach’s page, I see Bill Bryson, who leads me to Jasper Fforde who leads me to…

You can get lost in here for hours, discovering all kinds of interesting authors. It’s only August, but I bet you could get your holiday shopping done too, if you don’t get lost in the website for four months. (Don’t forget to pick up a little sumpn-sumpn for yourself. And for me.)

Who is your favorite author? Did you discover any links to new authors? What will you be buying me?

Unbridled Passion

Reading the Washington Post’s Short Stack blog is almost exactly like playing in BeckyLand. No, really.

They asked some prominent writers ”” which is why I found out about it long after the fact ”” “If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be?”

My favorite answer came from Lisa Scottoline: “I would spend the night with the Three Musketeers from Dumas’s classic novel. My motto is ‘One for all, all for me.'”

Gotta love that.

Janet Evanovich voted for Uncle Scrooge, from Carl Barks’s Disney comics. “He’s always going on adventures, he pushes his money around with a bulldozer, and he wears a top hat but no pants. Does it get any better than that?”

No. No, it does not.

However, my choice would be Ranger from Janet Evanovich’s books.

He’s an ex-Navy SEAL with a 200-watt smile, body that could stop a clock, and a pony tail. He wears tight black T-shirts and black cargo pants, almost exclusively. Except when he’s naked. He’s rich and calls me, er Stephanie Plum, “babe” in a dark, smoky baritone and says things like, “Last time you called me late at night you were naked and chained to your shower curtain rod. I hope this isn’t going to be disappointing.”

So, yeah. Ranger gets my vote for that unbridled night. I’ll be unplugging the clock and hanging black-out curtains. Or I’ll whisk him off to the North Pole where one night lasts nine months. I hope he doesn’t figure it out.

How ”˜bout you? If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character, who would it be?