Dave’s Favorite Year in Books

I had an epiphany recently while reading one of the many periodicals on books that I receive every month: Bookmarks magazine. In the back of Bookmarks there is always a history page describing publishing for a previous year. 1975 was an amazing year in my world of reading –maybe the best ever. I was sixteen and already an avid reader, still feeling my way trying to decide on and start a career. I honestly believe the books published in 1975 in some way guided me in my decision. One of my favorite books in the crime genre is The Choirboys, by Joseph Wambaugh. I was mesmerized by the book and couldn’t believe a life in that world existed. I eventually picked up his other book, The New Centurions, and I think that clenched it for me–I wanted to be a part of that grand adventure.

Another book in that same year hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list: Centennial. This is one of those books that I read deep into the night and was late for work several days in a row. This was another adventure story where James Michener set me down in a world I didn’t want to leave. Also, on that same list was Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy (one, of if not the best of, John Le Carre); Dogs of War by Forsyth; and Jaws. The last two were good but not quite as great as the others.

Under BooksmarksNotables in that same year was Shogun by Clevell: a book in my top five favorites of all time. I picked this book up at the store after work, went home, and started reading it and dropped deep into that highly sought after “Fictive Dream,” and didn’t come out of it until the next morning when I the alarm clock went off. I’d read right through the night. And even with young sixteen-year-old eyes, I’d strained them, and they ached all day. On that same Notable, list were: Ragtime, Salem’s Lot, and Terms of Endearment. What the heck was going on in 1975? All of them great books.

Then….Then under nonfiction bestsellers in 1975, topping the list, was All Things Bright and Beautiful. Another favorite series of mine. To this day I think back fondly on those great animal stories. On that same list: A Bridge Too Far, All The President’s Men, and Helter Skelter. Has there been any other year with such a consistent offering of great reads? Thank you for the memories Bookmarks magazine. 1975 seems to have been my favorite year in books, unless someone else can please enlighten me otherwise.

Best Review Yet — from a young reader

Our 2018 was a crazy year by many measures, but receiving this review stands out as a highlight. Dave’s Bruno Johnson series involves Bruno’s efforts to help at-risk children, so we especially love this review—written by a 10th grader, sent to us by her teacher, Lisa.

From Lisa’s email:

This review was written by a tenth grade student in my summer school class. She read The Disposables first and liked it so much, she continued with The Replacements. I am putting the books you donated to good use!


Recommendation: The Replacements is a very interesting read and I would recommend it to everyone. Regardless of what genre you enjoy reading this book will definitely have you hooked. It has a lot of suspenseful twist and turns and it is very action packed. It’s interesting to try and figure things out before they’re revealed in the book. However this book isn’t really predictable whatever you think is going to happen probably isn’t going to happen. More likely than not the opposite of what you think will happen will probably take place. I am not big on reading, but I can never seem to put this book down. It’s nothing like I have ever read before. Sometimes when I am reading I feel like I am there in the situation first hand. The author gets so into detail with what is going on and what the characters are saying. This book is a must read and definitely not leave you disappointed. The read is definitely worth your time !

Note: I added the bold/italics on my favorite part. Hoping we inspire more young people to read more! Thanks to Lisa’s efforts, Dave will be speaking to 500-1000 students next month in 6 back-to-back assembly periods. Hopefully his voice will hold out for the whole day, and he’ll inspire more young people to read!

While that event is NOT open to the public, we do have many that are, so please check out the “Upcoming Events” and be sure to submit your email for updates under “FOLLOW VIA EMAIL” to the right or below this post, and of course your favorite social media networks:





Also remember reviews (especially Amazon and https://goodreads.com/DavidPutnam) are extremely helpful and most appreciated, even if it’s just few words (of course, lots of stars are also appreciated)!

Looking forward to seeing more reviews and hopefully many of you in person in the coming year.



p.s. – Remember to thank your favorite teachers. Thanks again, Lisa Pacheco!


Short Story Anthology – book launch

IT’S ALL IN THE STORY, a Short Story Anthology From the SCWA: Details and Events



A Short Story Anthology From the Southern California Writers Association (SCWA)
DP Lyle, Editor and Contributor
Release date: 10-21-17.

Grab your copy today from your local independent bookstore or online at:



Thursday 11-2-17 at 7 p.m.
Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Street
Orange, CA
Book Carnival: http://www.annesbookcarnival.com
SCWA: http://www.ocwriter.com

eBook sale – Final Days!

Amazing Launch Deal:

Get the ebook version of David Putnam’s new thriller THE SQUANDERED, the third installment in the Bruno Johnson series, for 99 cents through Feb 9, 2016 on your favorite ereader:

Amazon  *  Nook

And get the first two eBooks in the series (The Disposables, The Replacements) for just $2.99 each!  (Through Feb 9)

The Story:

Bruno Johnson, ex-detective with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and an ex-convict, is hiding out from the FBI in Costa Rica, tending bar to support eight children he illegally rescued from abusive homes. Partway through a normal day, Barbara Wicks, a former colleague and the chief of police for Montclair, California, walks into his bar. Bruno is shocked to the core.  Is she there to arrest him and take him back to California? Turns out she’s there to request Bruno’s help.  Two children have been kidnapped.


The kidnapper, Jonas Mabry, was himself a victim whom Bruno rescued as a small child.  Now Mabry demands a fool’s retribution, a million dollar ransom, and Bruno to put his life on the line to get the money. In this twisted turn of fate, Bruno returns as a wanted criminal to California.  Despite the risk of arrest and even his life, he cannot turn his back on these kids.


The Author:

During his career in law enforcement, David Putnam has done it all: worked in narcotics, violent crimes, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, and internal affairs, to name just a few. He is the recipient of many awards and commendations for heroism. The Squandered is his third Bruno Johnson novel, following the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Disposables and The Replacements. Putnam lives in Southern California with his wife, Mary.

Praise for the THE SQUANDERED and the Bruno Johnson Series:

Publishers Weekly:
“Putnam’s gripping third Bruno Johnson novel (after 2015’s The Replacements) takes Bruno from Costa Rica, where he fled with the woman who’s now his wife, Marie, and 10 mistreated children he rescued (illegally), back to Los Angeles, to help his incarcerated brother, Noble, whose two young grandchildren have been kidnapped. Unable to turn away from kids in peril, Bruno soon gets mixed up in a caper involving the cocaine trade, a failed heist, and plenty of cold-blooded killers. Luckily, he has help from a nephew also named Bruno (the kidnapped children’s father), some police buddies, and of course Marie. A former police officer, Putnam combines a spot-on procedural with a hero and heroine whose banter and obvious affection for each other provide some welcome levity amid some very dark deeds. At times, awkward excerpts from A Noble Sacrifice, a memoir written by Noble, slow the narrative, but everything else is so well crafted, readers will zip right through this poignant crime thriller.



“Violence follows Bruno Johnson around. After a bloody career as a Los Angeles cop, he sought a calmer life as a bartender, but gunmen found him, to their sorrow. In Putnam’s third series entry, Johnson is in Costa Rica, attempting to provide a sane life for children he’s taken―illegally―from abusive homes in the States. But the past catches up. In his cop life, he put his own brother in jail for murder. Now the jailbird sends a message: he needs Johnson back in L.A. What follows is a complex story involving cocaine, diamonds, kidnapping, and―with Johnson on the case―rivers of blood. The revelations, which date back to Johnson’s brother’s arrest, are genuinely startling, and readers will admire Putnam’s ability to unleash a powerful narrative, with interesting characters and high drama, in foursquare, unadorned prose, not a simile or metaphor in sight. When Johnson arms for the final battle, he says he’s going to ‘burn down the world.’ That’s not really a figure of speech. Action fans won’t be able to turn away.”

“Putnam puts his years of law enforcement experience to good use in The Squandered, a shocking and intense tale of brotherly love and redemption realized in the midst of moral decay. It’s a raw and gritty story I couldn’t put down.”

―C.J. Box, New York Times best-selling author of the Joe Pickett novels


The Squandered is available in hardcover and all digital ebook formats through your favorite independent bookstore, public library, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Kobo.com, Apple, Google, and all other fine booksellers.