Harlan Coben, our October 2012 selected author, is the 67th author we've tackled thus far. Our goal for the past 6+ years has been to not repeat an author if we could possibly help it. Here are the other criteria we've used when choosing past authors/titles:
- For the first several years of Just Desserts, we've alternated between "classic" authors and "contemporary" authors. We ended that practice after we ran out of "classic" authors for whom the library had sufficient copies to meet the group's needs.
- The libraries need to own at least 12 to 15 copies of whatever title we select, preferably in a variety of formats, including audio and/or downloadable.
- We've tried to avoid those authors that everybody already seems to be reading (such as Evanovich and Patterson), and focus on picking authors that may be new to a large percentage of the group's members.
- We've tried to alternate tone and writing style -- including a mix of cozies, police procedurals, amateur detectives, noirish P.I.s, forensic detectives, various time periods, etc.
- We've had some success with picking a few authors for whom we didn't select a specific title -- instead recommending that participants read whatever novel(s) they could for those authors (Louise Penny and Suzanne Arruda). We are certainly capable of trying this again! This makes for unusual discussions, as we try to discuss generalities rather than specifics of individual titles.
With all of these considerations in mind, what authors do you suggest that we consider for Just Desserts gatherings in 2013? Leave your suggestions as a comment to this blog post -- and feel free to elaborate on why you recommend particular authors in your comments!
Scott C. / Just Desserts coordinator
Here's a link to the Just Desserts archives, so you can see an entire list of all the authors we've used in the past.