Friday, January 5, 2024

2023 Read Books

 I am under the impression that blogs are really not a thing anymore, as evidenced by my complete neglect of this one. However, I still like to list my reading accomplishments here because Goodreads is a cesspool of slime and hate second only to the rest of the internet.

Nevertheless, here are the many books I read in 2023. 77 new record. Pretty eclectic list all told.

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton

The Passenger, Cormac McCarthy

Pure Meditation, Pema Chodron

The Man Who Would be King and other stories, Rudyard Kipling

A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny


The Cruelest Month, Louise Penny

Live Wire, Harlan Coben

White Noise, Don DeLillo

Of Boys and Men, Richard V. Reeves

A Rule Against Murder, Louise Penny


Origins of the Gods, Andrew Collins and  Gregory L. Little, Ed.D.

Home, Harlan Coben

A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore

The Brutal Telling, Louise Penny

Stella Maris, Cormac McCarthy


Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz

Future Home of the Living God, Louise Erdrich

Suspect, Robert Crais


The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz

It’s Okay to Be Angry at Capitalism, Bernie Sanders

Iron Gold, Pierce Brown

Zone One, Colson Whitehead 

Red Team Blues, Cory Doctorow


Activities of Daily Living, Lisa Hsiao Chen

This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar

The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson, Mark Twain

Back to the Garden, Laurie R. King

The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan


The Giver, Lois Lowry

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein

From Russia with Love, Ian Fleming

The Quantum and the Lotus, Matthieu Ricard & Trinh Quan Thuan

The Maltese Iguana, Tim Dorsey


Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

Fatal Journey, Peter. C. Mancall

Dr. No, Ian Fleming

Diamond of Jeru, Louis L’Amour

The Idea, Erik Bork


A Man Called Trent, Louis L’Amour

How High We Go in the Dark, Sequoia Nagamatsu

Thunderball, Ian Fleming

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Robert A. Heinlein

The Wager, David Grann


Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor E Frankl

Master and Commander, Patrick O’Brian

Post Captain, Patrick O’Brian

The Rider of the Lost Creek, Louis L’Amour

How I Write, Janet Evanovich, Ina Yolof


The Dark Sphere, Johnny Worthen

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin

Now is Not the Time to Panic, Kevin Wilson

Dark Age, Pierce Brown

Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs


Winter Counts, David Heska Wanbli Weiden

A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny 

The Man From the Broken Hills, Louis L’Amour

Tenth of December, George Saunders

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig


Life after Life, Kate Atkinson

When Race Trumps Merit, Heather Mac Donald

HMS Surprise, Patrick O’Brian

The Shadow Over Innsmouth, H.P. Lovecraft

Stranger in a Strangle Land, Robert A. Heinlein


The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov

The Fifth Agreement, Don Miguel Ruiz

Total Meditation, Deepak Chopra, M.D.

I, Claudius, Robert Graves

Story Genius: Lisa Cron


Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

Gilgamesh, Stephen Mitchell 

Trans, Helen Joyce

Sackett’s Land, Louis L’Amour

Beowulf, Stephen Mitchell


Last of the Breed, Louis L’Amour

All Systems Red, Martha Wells


I'll consider using this blog more in 2024. Or not. I am nothing if not a lazy man. I will certainly continue to enjoy reading.

Monday, January 9, 2023

2022 Read Books

 Here’ my annual report on books read.

In 2022, I set out to read 50 books and I read 70 books all told, though some were repeats. One book,Woke Racism, really grabbed my interest and since it was timely, available and the perfect length for long drives drives, I listened to five times. A couple others are re-reads to, because they were favorites and I was at ends. I discovered Harlan Coben and ran through many of his. I finally got around to Jonathan Franzen and didn’t hate him as much as I thought I would, I liked it in fact. Cixin Liu’s now classic trilogy lived up to the hype and Graeme Samson’s lovely Rosie books are delightful. My own work appears on the list and I must say I am very fond of my writing. Highly recommended. I read classics and bleeding edge, young adult, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, literary, non-ficiton—all kinds of things.

A good year all told for my book consumption.

The List:

Turn of the Screw, Henry James

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, Dominic Smith

Ramayana, Valmiki

Of Civilized, Saved and Savages, Johnny Worthen

Blood Grove, Walter Mosley


Mermaid Confidential, Tim Dorsey

Animal Farm, George Orwell

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan

The Maid, Nita Prose


The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

Hermit of Big Horn County, Johnny Worthen

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin

Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake


The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion

Nine Lives, Peter Swanson

Tehanu, Ursula D. Le Guin


The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Result, Graeme Simsion

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

Tales from Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley


Corrections, Jonathan Franzen

The Doors of Perceptions, Aldous Huxley

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz

Woke Racism, John McWhorter


Silverview, John le Carré

Woke Racism, John McWhorter

The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Simone St. James

The Devil and the Dark Water, Stuart Turton

Start Where You Are, Pema Chödrön


Woke Racism, John McWhorter

Teachings on Love, Thich That Hanh

Eleanor Script, Blake Casselman

When the Bough Breaks, Jonathan Kellerman

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah


The Hermit of Big Horn County, Johnny Worthen

Deal Breaker, Harlan Coben

Mindfulness for Beginners, Jon Bat-Zinn

Meditation for Optimum Health, Andrew Weil & Jon Bat-Zinn

Drop Shot, Harlan Coben


Fade Away, Harlan Coben

Rotters, Daniel Krauss

Back Spin, Harlan Coben

Of Heroes, Homes and Honey, Johnny Worthen

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu


One False Move, Harlan Coben

Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles

The Final Detail, Harlan Coben

Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury

Darkest Fear, Harlan Coben


Plato and Aristotle, Aryeh Kosman

Promise Me, Harlan Coben

Long Lost, Harlan Coben

Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna

Chakras for Beginners, Brown Kadmon


The Issue at Hand, Gil Fronsdal

The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu

Death’s End, Cixin Liu

Stolen Focus, Johann Hari

Still Life, Louise Penny


Fairy Tale, Stephen King

Why Buddhism is True, Robert Wright

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

Never Let Me Go, Kazua Ishiguro

Coconut Cowboy, Tim Dorsey


Next year, the goal is again fifty.


Friday, November 11, 2022

Of Civilized, Saved and Savages - pre-orders open

 We have a date for OF CIVILIZED, SAVED AND SAVAGES, The Second Book of Coronam.

January 10, 2023

Now available for pre-order:

Flame Tree


Barnes & Noble

Humanity gets another chance but will anything be different?

Reeling from the defeat of the armada and Enskaran counter-attacks, Hyrax searches for new revenue to rebuild. Its interests on Maaraw are threatened by revolution, while its mines on Silangan are shut down with native uprising. The occupied worlds bleed money and new unrest. There is but one place left to conquer: Tirgwenin, Jareth’s world, wild and unclaimed.

Enskari’s colony led by Alpin Morgan and his separatist sect of Bucklers is destroyed, the governor returned home to beg for relief and rescue. But Enskari is a different place, the war and a terrible religious purge have decimated his contacts and heightened class tension. The queen’s lover Sir Ethan Sommerled, savior of the planet, Morgan’s one-time patron, is at the center of the controversy. His path is precarious, his power tempered by politics of court. Morgan must find other allies if he is to return to savage Tirgwenin.

But there is a third planet obsessed with Jareth’s World. On Temple the prophet knows the secret, sees the threat, and rallies the Saved to defend civilization in a holy and bloody crusade.

Pre-orders are wonderful things for an author and a publisher and the universe at large. Order now. 

Blessed be.

Sunday, September 18, 2022



Tony Flaner is back in the backwoods of Northern Wyoming, cold nights and cold turkey from computer screens. The gang is there to help him along and make his life worse. The sheriff hates him out of principle but when a body, a naked body, a dirty naked body, appears atop a sacred mounting, who do they call? No... after them... after them too... a ways down the list... there,... no the next one... YES! Tony Flaner!

The Hermit of Big Horn County

Everyone has something to hide, even the naked guy.

A dare leads Tony and the gang to northern Wyoming for a trip off the grid to kick their screen addictions. No computers, no phones, no flushing toilets… wait, what?

It’s a place to hide, to be forgotten. To be left the hell alone. A perfect place for a hermit. A perfect place for a murder.

Lurking in the scree are old-fashioned motives, mud, mosquitoes, meadows, mountains, and more manure than any twenty-first century urbanite has any right to experience.

The 5th Tony Flaner novel. Very proud of this one. Like usual.

Saturday, June 25, 2022


You're invited!

Hey kids,

The Infinite Monkey Chapter of the League of Utah Writers (my stomping grounds), is hosting a virtual book club next month for OF KINGS, QUEENS AND COLONIES*.

I will be there to answer questions and hang out.

Host president Daniel Yocom will steer the conversation and look adorable while I will look embarrassed and fight imposter syndrome.

Date will be: Wednesday July 20, 2022

Time will be 7:00 MST

Place will be this Zoom link here:


You do not need to be a member of the chapter or the league or even the human race to attend, but it’ll help if you’ve read the awesome book.

To make that easier, my publisher is running a deal for the ebook until July 22nd. You can pick an up an ebook for one dollar nine and ninety cents or less (≥$1.99) from these locations.




Barnes & Noble (Nook)




Come hang out and discuss the universe of Coronam, pose questions, meet some fantastic people. See my new glasses.

Email me if you have any questions.


* PS – OF KINGS, QUEENS AND COLONIES is an official best-seller as of June 22, 2022. Squeeeeee!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Pikes Peak Writers Conference this week

 Hey kids,

Sorry for not posting in like forever, but as you know, I am at heart, a lazy man.

Depression is a thing too, as are new distractions, like washing and editing.

To counteract my laziness, I have made Frostian promises to keep. Namely, a bunch of conferences coming up. I love conferences. They energize, improve, connect, challenge and emotionally drain me like nothing else. Getting back in front of masses of people, leaving the house to interact with actually nearby human beings, free of Zoom restraints and mute buttons is a welcome return to what I once thought was normal.

My next one is Pikes Peak, this week. If you’re going, look me up. If you’re not going and want to, I bet you can still come. Here's what I'll be doing. It's a lot right? Yeah, it'll be aa blast.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Friday through Sunday — April 29 – May 1, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

8:30-9:30 pm. Pike's Peak 

Panel Moderator with Hannah Andrade • Elizabeth Copps • Lucienne Diver • Alice Speilburg • Samantha Wekstein

Join the agents as they answer questions.

4:45-5:45 pm. Royal Gorge Room 

Presentation: The Faceted Story

A presentation about those elements of narrative fiction that lend depth, value and resonance to writing. Every story has some, the best have many. We’ll learn how to identify which elements to include in your story. Subplots and multiple stories, arcs, settings, themes, novelties, information and more. A little foresight, a touch of research and a clear goal can nurture the muse to bring out the strength of the form.

    Writers will be challenged to expand their fiction into elements beyond mere story and character. Emphasis will be placed on theme as well as history, education and entertainment qualities. Examples and techniques will be offered to help shape niches and expand any story into new areas of interest.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

8:30-9:30 am. Palmer/Academy Room 

Presentation: Morning Zen and the Way of the Writer

Author Johnny Worthen shares his discoveries studying eastern philosophy during the pandemic and their surprising applications to the life of an author. Sessions include directed mindfulness meditation and lecture on basic Buddhist concepts explaining how they may be successfully applied to the journey of writing.

9:45-10:15 pm. Bookstore (Three Creeks) 

Book Signing 

Come out and see me or I'll be so lonely... I'll be signing all my books.

3:15-4:15 pm. Seven Falls 

Panel Moderator: Adapt your Novel to the Screen With Ines Johnson

In this practical workshop, veteran television writer and screenwriter instructor Ines Johnson will guide novelists through a series of steps designed to take a manuscript from the written word to the visual world of the screen and teleplay. Using a number of books that have been adapted successfully, and some not so successfully, into movies and television series, Ines will show authors how to break their novels down to their story core of the word and logline, and translate their plot points into the beat sheet of the screen.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

9:00-10:0 am. Teller 

Presentation: Deeper Reading for Deeper Writing

Consciously or unconsciously meaning is hidden beneath signs and facades in literature, layered in word choice and focus. Through shared reading, discussion and meaning and themes, we will learn to consciously see what our subconscious feels within a text, those elements that unite and undercut, but always elevate craft into art. Once you understand deconstruction, your reading and your writing will never be the same.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Johnny's 2021 Read Books

 It’s time for my annual “What did Johnny Read Last Year” post.

2021 was another year for stress and unpleasant worry. To combat the decline of western civilization and implosion of capitalism, I challenged myself to read 50 books in the calendar year and successfully consumed 59. Pretty awesome.

Below is the list. You’ll see certain patterns there. I fell in love with Cory Doctorow, Ursula K. Le Guin and I devoured books on Buddhism while boning up on the rise of the grain state and astrophysics. And of course, I perused a few classics.

The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information, Noel Botham

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller 

Ravel, Cassidy Ward

Orlando, Virginia Woolf


We Can Build You, Phillip K Dick

White Trash Warlock, David R. Slayton

A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

The Counterfeit Connection, Johnny Worthen

Lady Chatterly’s Lover, D H Lawrence


Passage Meditation, Eknath Easwaran

No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners, Noah Rasheta

Squeeze Me, Carl Hiaasen

Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh



Tropic of Stupid, Tim Dorsey

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty

Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin

Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie


The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman

What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula

Skios, Michael Frayn

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

A Briefer History of Time, Stephen Hawking


If Not Now, When? Infinite Monkey Anthology 

They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera

Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Strong in Broken Places, LUW anthology

A Promised Land, Barack Obama


Stargazer, Anne Hillerman

The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler

The Upanishads, Eknath Easwaran

Information Doesn’t Want to be Free, Cory Doctorow

Radicalized, Cory Doctorow 


Eastern Standard Tribe, Cory Doctorow

Overclocked, Cory Doctorow

Buddhism for Beginners, Thubten Chords

Walkaway, Cory Doctorow

Maximum Bob, Elmore Leonard


Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

Runaway: Poppet Cycle 2, Donna J. W. Munro

Bonfire of the Vanities, Thomas Wolfe

Catwings, Ursula K. Le Guin

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel


Catwings Return, Ursula K. Le Guin

Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, Ursula K. Le Guin

Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer

Jane on Her Own, Ursula K. Le Guin

Seeing Sideways, Kristin Hersh


Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

Homeland, Cory Doctorow

The King in Yellow, Robert W. Chambers

Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling

The Man with the Golden Arm, Nelson Algren


The Four Seals of the Dharma, Lama Khenpo Ngedön 

Against the Grain, James C. Scott

Why Buddhism is True, Robert Wright

The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber & David Wengrow


The challenge continues. 50 books in 2022.

Peace out,