Matt Fulks
Reading Log
From time to time, at signings and through e-mails, I'm asked about the books I enjoy reading. So, although I'm not sure why people are curious, I thought I'd try to track -- much like my kids have to do at school -- the books I read (or at least attempt to'll know what that means when you see the list). By the way, as you look at this list -- at least the 2013 entries -- I'll rationalize my lack of reading by saying I'm currently writing a book and reading through the entire Bible this year.

November 2014

I wrote this last month and it applies again this month. I must be enjoying Harlan Coben right now. Starting with the last two games of the American League playoffs and going through the World Series, I wrote short book about the Kansas City Royals' incredible run. (The book, Out of the Blue, is scheduled for release later this month.) In spite of the chaos of writing that book and writing the content for a Royals-related magazine, I read Drop Shot, the second book in Coben's Myron Bolitar series. I didn't like it quite as well as Sudden Death, but it was still a wonderful read. I plan to continue with the Bolitar series later this year.  

October 2014

Although, with baseball season, my book reading has been slow, I've recently absorbed Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This is the unbelievable story of Louis Zamperini. It's an absolutely wonderful read. Hillenbrand is one of those authors who makes other authors (at least present company) feel inferior.

Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams by, well, John Updike. Most of the book was a long piece that Updike wrote for "The New Yorker" in 1960. Great, quick read. 

You know it's a good book when I can say that in the week since reading Updike's short book, I read, at the suggestion of a friend, Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben. This is the first in Coben's Myron Bolitar series. In many ways, the writing and tone were similar to David Rosenfelt's Sudden Death, only better. (That's not to knock Rosenfelt; it's just preference.) I've already reserved another Coben novel from the library. 

July 2014

It seems as though it's been awhile since I've read any books. That's somewhat true with the writing earlier this year of 100 Things Chiefs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die followed by the baseball season (and my work with the Kansas City T-Bones). My book reading was cut a bit. That said, the most recent book is The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It's about Chicago before and during the 1893 World's Fair, specifically the architect of the World's Fair and a serial killer. I was talking with Jim Chappell, the owner of Chappell's Restaurant and Sports Museum recently. He read the book a few years ago and was captivated by the stories about building the Fair. He wasn't hip on the murder stories. There was a part of me that felt some of the details about the Fair seemed to really drag while the murder stories read more like a novel. Either way, Larson does a great job of telling stories. 

December 2013

The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado...As an author (and, perhaps, as a reader), you oftentimes can tell, or at least assume, when an author has rushed through the writing of a book. So it is with The Christmas Candle. It's a nice feel-good story, even if it is predictable, but there isn't a lot of character development. This was my first Lucado book, so maybe my expectations were too high. I'd suggest reading it at least once, but it's not necessarily something I'd read every year. The movie version, which seems to be a tad different from the book, came out in November. I'm curious to see it.

November 2013

It would appear that I took a long time between reading books. And, in a way, I did. Between June and November, besides working as the Kansas City T-Bones' Director of Media Relations, I wrote two books, Relentless with Travis Releford, which is out now, and 100 Things Royals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, which is scheduled for release in spring 2014. So, my "casual" reading time suffered. That said, my latest read was Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis. I'm a huge fan of Vienna, Austria -- in fact, I'd move there in a heartbeat. Unlike Carlos Ruiz Zafon's books set in Barcelona, Tallis didn't necessarily make me feel as if I was in Vienna. That said, I enjoyed the book and Tallis' writing. Vienna Twilight is part of a series...I'm sure, at some point down the road, I'll read another in the Vienna/Max Liebermann mystery series.

June 2013

 by D.B. Jackson...I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I really liked this book. Unlike some other historical fiction books I've read (or at least started), this one uses enough fictional characters -- and, perhaps, some lesser-known historical ones -- to tell an entertaining story with plenty of action. I see that a follow-up, Thieves' Quarry, has been released. I'll likely need to read that. 

May/June 2013

After Visiting Friends
 by Michael Hainey...great story, great read. Makes me want to read some of Hainey's magazine articles.

March 2013

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer...for some reason this is a book I've wanted to read for a few years (according to the receipt inside the book, I bought it in 2008). I'll just say it's an interesting book, and it is. You can form your own opinions of Chris McCandless and the way Krakauer wrote it.

February 2013

Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt...the librarian suggested a Rosenfelt book as something light-hearted and fun. She was right. This wasn't exactly a page turner, but it was a good read. I'll read something else of Rosenfelt's down the road.

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln* by Stephen L. Carter...I read the first several pages but just couldn't get into it. The action was decent, but I'll have to try it again sometime.

January 2013

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway...I'm a huge Hemingway fan and this is one of my favorites that I've read multiple times. If you're a writer or want to learn about the writing lifestyle -- at least Hemingway's in Paris in the 1920s, read this.

Hometown Legend by Jerry B. Jenkins...I'm a long-time fan of Jenkins, and wanted to read one of his sports novels. Although I like the "Christian message," the book felt a little like he was writing it as a made-for-TV-movie script.

Calico Joe* by John Grisham...I wanted to love this book, I really did, especially with how much I've enjoyed Grisham's other non-legal books. But, as a baseball fan, knowing some stats and baseball history, the blending in of actual players and events made this one tough to follow. I made it to the second chapter before putting it down.

December 2012

A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne...Yes, this is a kids' book, but I wanted to do some research and see why my kids have enjoyed the Magic Tree House series. (Not to mention, this turned out to be my Christmas book.) Easy to see why the kids enjoy these books.

A Christmas Carol* by Charles Dickens...I try to read a Christmas book each December. For some reason I've never made it through this book. Perhaps, Lord willing, next year.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon...I absorbed this book! I absolutely love Zafon's writing style.

November 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King...I haven't read many of King's books, but I might need to start. I couldn't put this one down.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham...A nice, quick, fun read.

*This is one that I attempted to read. I either wasn't in the right frame of mind or the book just didn't interest me.
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