Connecticut is the place to be if you’re a published author. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the New York publishing houses and also just a click away from an e-book publisher, there are five books by Connecticut authors that should be on your must-read list. This sampling includes different genres, but all widely read and enjoyed. There are so many authors in Connecticut that it’s always a challenge to pick and choose what to read. This list includes the best home-grown favorites. As a writer once said, “Authors know they have made it, when they have a house in Connecticut.”

(credit: Scholastic Press)

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Right now, the literary world has turned its attention to Connecticut-based author Suzanne Collins, the author of “The Hunger Games” and its boxed trilogy. This is an international bestseller picked up by the film industry. The book is definitely controversial with teenage protagonists fighting to the death, but there’s more to the story than what first meets the eye. Classified as a young adult novel, many adults of all ages have not been able to put the book down.


“Lose Your Broker Not Your Money” by Dan Calandro
Investment Advice
Publisher: Lose Your Broker Not Your Money

Born and raised in Connecticut, Dan Calandro’s book, “Lose Your Broker Not Your Money” is taking the investment world by storm. An easy to read and easy to understand book, this book is as convincing as it is successful. This is a must read for anyone who has taken a beating in this volatile market and doesn’t want to do so ever again.

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“In the Spirit” by Dee Maggiori
Publisher: Author House

Those with a spiritual bent will love Maggiori’s Christian-inspired writings. Those who don’t have a spiritual bent will enjoy the well-written, uplifting text in Dee Maggiori’s book “In the Spirit.” Maggiori has a huge following in the Fairfield County Catholic newspapers, of which she was one of the founders. For this beautiful collection of her writings, she has included 68 of her all-time favorite columns. The book has been approved by Cardinal Edward M. Egan and Bishop William E. Lori, who wrote the forward to this outstanding work. Don’t think that you have to be Catholic or Christian to enjoy this “smile-a-page” book. She covers challenging topics like troubled teens, holding a grudge and other topics on marriage and love with a common sense, no-nonsense approach. Her strong and passionate voice is one suited to deliver The Word.

(credit: Sunbury Press)

Twilight of the Drifter” by Shelly Frome
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of Connecticut, author Shelly Frome will hold mystery lovers’ rapt attention as he spins his story of a run-away girl with amnesia and a freelance reporter who his determined to learn her story. These two meet by chance and their lives become intricately interwoven and complicated. Think murder, southern gothic style with an ear to a bluesy backwoods harmonica and characters with a southern backwoods mentality, and you’ve got an inkling of what’s in store when reading “Twilight of the Drifter.” Frome has written other mysteries including “The Twinning Murders” as well as other works of non-fiction.

(credit: Stanley Publishing)

“Gut Bucket Blues” by Anita August
Publisher: Stanley Publishing Co.

Readers need to hurry and read Anita August’s first novel,“Gut Bucket Blues,” before her second one arrives. Here’s an author that you will want to follow as her work grabs hold of readers with its distinctive use of authentic dialogue, an unforgettable young protagonist on a search for self and a cast of characters with names as colorful as their souls like Sugar Tit, Took-A-Look and Rembrandt Aaron.  These characters will haunt you as August conjures up a story filled with prostitutes, unbearable hurt, blues music, life, love and self discovery. Like the phoenix, this book shows how good can rise from the ashes of a deeply troubled life. Praise for her debut book will prompt plenty of follow-ups.

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Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at