Friday, March 18, 2011

J.T. Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series, including All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss, The Cold Room, and The Immortals.

So Close the Hand of Death, the sixth book in the series, is now available.

Recently I asked Ellison what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m in tricky territory discussing what I’m currently reading, because I’m judging a contest and can’t talk actual titles or authors (a shame, because many of the books are simply divine). So I thought I’d take a look back at 2010 and share the books that meant the most to me. Four books spring to mind that shaped my thinking.

On the fiction side, I was utterly blown away by Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy. I read all three in two days, devoured them. It was more than the stellar writing and unique characterizations, for me it was Collins’s ability to world-build that drew me in. Just like JK Rowling before her, she’s created a world that could be, if you want to believe. I love that appearance of insouciance with words. Like the author is putting down a red carpet paved with rose petals and saying, “Come on in, I invite you.” You can take the story as it is, or you can stop for a brief moment and imagine what it would be like, and get utterly and completely lost in the fictional world. That’s a rare talent.

On the non-fiction side, I can’t recommend Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers enough. Smart and accessible philosophy is always a favorite of mine, and Powers delivers in spades. It’s a completely captivating look at ourselves, our habits, and the many technological “moments” our ancestors faced, from the Greeks to Shakespeare to Gutenberg. It’s completely changed the way I look at the computer, my interactions online, and the time spent, or lost, in the Internet world. It’s a super book, and I can’t wait for Powers to bring out another. And I must give credit to Laura Lippman for turning me onto the book, ironically, on Facebook. Her post about it intrigued me and I was deep in its pages half an hour later. A must read.
Visit J.T. Ellison's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: So Close the Hand of Death.

--Marshal Zeringue