Monday, February 7, 2022

Best Books of 2021

 Confessions of a Writer of Westerns

February 7, 2022

It’s that time of year again. Oh, and what time is that? When politicians, actors, and other famous people list all their favorite books of the year. I often take these lists with a grain of salt, as in, I doubt they read many if any of the books listed. Lucky for all you readers, I am not going to glean from their lists and come up with a must-read list of my own. Today, I will mention a few of my favorite reads from this past year.

Instead of listing everything I read or the number of books I read in 2021 (I have no idea if I could make an accurate list). Here is my favorite, fiction, nonfiction, just for fun, and writing book of the year.


My favorite fiction read of the year was C.J. Box’s Dark Sky,

another in his best-selling Joe Pickett series. I have read them all, and if you have not read any, take a look. All of them are terrific reads. These books are modern-day western mysteries all set mainly in Wyoming.

My favorite nonfiction read of the year is now on my list of all-time favorite nonfiction books. This book, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, written by Timothy Eagan, has been out since 2013. Surprised I had not gotten around to it until last year. This one feeds my love of history and photography and gives readers a look at one man’s passion for a lifelong project. This book is a terrific read that includes many famous Curtis photos.

Each year I read a fair number of, what I call, just for fun books. My favorite in 2021 was Steve Hockensmith’s – Holmes on the Range. This one is just what it sounds like, a lover of Sherlock Holmes solving cases in the old-west like Holme’s did in far-off London.

Lastly, my favorite writing book of the year was – Ta-da! Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, by Renni Browne and Dave King. This one has been around for almost twenty years. Not sure how much earlier the first edition came out. I see this book as a must-have for all writers, whether traditional or self-published.

There you have it- my list of favorite books I read in 2021.


Reading – Still working my way through a couple of books I started two weeks ago. I did read through Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co’s spring 2022 seed catalog. That is a sure sign that I am now officially anxious for spring.

Writing Tip – “The very best thing you can do for good dialogue is never, ever to explain it.” (from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers)  Oddly if I were to edit the above line, I would take out very and ever to. Neither makes the sentence stronger. Now that’s pretty strange. Still a good tip. 😊

Weather – Another great week here in east-central Wyoming. A few days in the 50s are coming soon. I Might get out on the golf course sometime this week. It definitely will be an excellent week to go out with one of my cameras.

Quote of the day It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Ernest Hemingway


Today’s Photos – From my walks over the past few days


 Click the link to see all of my books on Amazon


Have a great week. Keep on reading, and keep on writing!



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