I enjoy reading. My tastes vary and I read a little bit of everything but I usually stick to just a few authors. Waiting for one of these author’s new books sometimes puts me in spot of having nothing new to read. I may try a recommended book or author (for instance MRTL suggested Carl Hiaasen and now I have a new author on my list) and sometimes I discover a new author all on my own.
My latest discovery is Brad Meltzer. I discovered Meltzer because I found the cover of his last book, The Book of Fate, interesting. I Googled him and found his website. He is a best selling author of suspense/thriller books that are set in the world of government. Not politics, but government. I am fascinated by the way government works (or does not work) and I also saw that he was writing some comic books. While surfing his website I found that he also had a blog. I read few entries, and as bloggers do, I left a comment on one his posts. He sent me email in reply to my comment.
I figured, here is a guy who writes thriller/mystery/suspense books which revolve around various areas of government, writes comic books and has a blog AND he replied to a comment I made, I had to check out his work. I started with his book Zero Game and I loved it. I told my wife, Lauren, about the book and about his email to me, and how I wanted to buy the rest of his books. Lauren started teasing me claiming I had a Man-Crush on Brad Meltzer.
This summer I have read five out of six of his books. I also received another personal email from Brad regarding something or other from his blog. I loved the fact that a best selling author was so accessible.
His last book I read, The First Counsel, I bought at Barnes and Noble. I read it over the next two weeks and I was nearing the end of the book. I only had a few chapters left to go and I purposely set some time aside so I could finish. I sat outside on the front porch and started to finish the book. I was on the second to the last chapter and things were starting to come together when I turned the page (page 497 to be exact) and noticed that page 498 was blank. Page 499 was printed but page 500 was blank. There were about 10 pages total at the end of the book that were blank. I was pissed. I could not finish the book.
I took the spine creased, dog-eared, coffee-stained book back to the store and I asked for a replacement. The manager told me he could not take the book back in the condition that it was in. He needed a reason to replace the book. I showed him the blank pages. He still refused.
“Look,” I said “How was I supposed to know that the pages were blank when I bought it. The book is tattered because I was reading it the way it is supposed to be read, from the beginning to the end. If the pages in the beginning of the book were blank I would have returned it in better condition.”
The manager was still not sure if he could replace the book. I was frustrated and I said, “Fine. If you can’t replace it I will just email Brad Meltzer and ask him for the missing pages.”
The manager gave me a look. The look that he gave me as he rolled his eyes said You, Sir, are the biggest dork I have ever encountered, sheesh emailing the author….
He then exchanged the book for me.
I told Lauren about the exchange with the bookstore manager and she concurred with his Look.