Ep. 194 Books Of The Year & A Ken Bruen Q&A

We’re joined once again by Denver librarian Amy Delpo and we all share our favorite books of the year.  Plus- Dave & Andrew have a mini high school reunion and Laura attends her first NFL game. liness


Ken Bruen is a critically acclaimed Irish crime writer who has been called “Bukowski on crystal meth.”  He has won a Macavity Award, a Barry Award, and two Shamus Awards for the Jack Taylor series.
  • What were your thoughts on the World Cup this year?
  • My team for The World was Croatia, damn Argentina.
  • Shame about the venue.
You once wrote that  the character of Jack drains you to write because it’s too personal. Did he get any easier to write for? Did he stop talking to you?  
  • Jack stopped talking to me for 2 months, not a flicker then I got food poisoning and after, Jack was back.
  • Go figure!
Why do we love Jack so much?  Here’s a drug ravaged nun hating alcoholic with a priest for an archenemy who loathes his own mother and yet… 
  • I think Jack’s appeal is no matter what chaos the world flings at him, he crawls back.
  • Writing Jack is all I know of heaven and hell, I enjoy when he goes on the warpath, I get to vent at my bete noires.
What do you say to your critics under your breath and late at night when they say things like you’ve gone too far?  
  • Critics, well late at night I think of in relation to hurlies.
Galway is a big character in all the Jack Taylor books although at times it doesn’t come across as particularly rosy.  Has the city finally embraced the Jack Taylor books or are you persona non grata
  • Jack is almost a real character in Galway especially Ian Glen when he is filming in town and is mobbed!
  • People shout at me
  • Give a Jack a break.
What’s your writing process like?
  • I sit in my kitchen with daily life swirling around me and just write.
What do you think of the cinematic treatment of your work? 
  • I think Blitz got it mostly right and it is a huge seller on DVD.
I love the Max & Angela books you wrote with Jason Starr.  Did you enjoy that experience?
  • Jason Starr is like my mirror image but way younger, we’d literally thought it would be fun to write together and it surely was.
What does one do with a doctorate in metaphysics?
  • Metaphysics allows you to peer into the souls of others, not an encouraging experience.
What is the last show you watched/binged and really enjoyed?
  • Ozark is my all time favourite.
Favorite authors?
  • My five favourite authors are
  • Jim Sallis
  • Jason Starr
  • David Goodis
  • Raymond Chandler
  • Wayne Saalman
What world or place would you like to visit?
  • I’d love to go to Nepal.
Who are you currently reading right now?
  • I’m currently reading John Connolly, I think he is the best mystery writer writing today.
Great questions and you’ll laugh, my wife says I write like I speak, short, brief and not entirely serious. liness Laura’s favorites:
  • These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
  • True Biz by Sara Novic
  • The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. Mandel
  • This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
  • Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (2020)
Dave’s favorites:
  • Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty
  • After the Lights Go Out by John Vercher
  • The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • The Trees by Percival Everett (2021)
Andrew’s favorites:
    • Our Lady of the Artilects by Andrew Gillsmith
    • The Thousand Earths by Stephen Baxter
    • Jake’s Magical Market by J.R. Matthews
The Last Hunter
    by J.N. Chaney & Terry Mixon
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  Check out our list of every book we’ve ever recommended on the show.


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