If your mama says you look nice in your new suit you say ‘thanks’ and keep on going. You both know it’s a mama’s job to say such things. When the CEO of your biggest client stops you in the hall and says ‘Hey, that’s a really nice suit. Where’d you get it?’ you know that you’ve received a sincere compliment worth feeling good about.

Yes, some words carry greater weight than others.

These are the thoughts that came to mind while reading the recent review of ‘Church of Golf’ written by Douglas Lord, a book reviewer for Libraryjournal.com. Doug has a monthly column that he calls “Books for Dudes.” He writes manly reviews about manly books written by manly men. (I suspect that before he sits down with a new read, he lights his whiskey-scented candle and pulls a smoldering oaken twig from his fireplace to spark up a Macanudo.)  Books that he recently reviewed include the story of a detective who works in the afterlife, a collection of short stories about civilians surviving in a war zone and the curiously titled “The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac” that’s now on my must-read list. Doug is a guy whose column rises and falls based on the honesty and accuracy of his reviews. He knows that if he were to encourage people to read boring books, his standing would suffer.

When a guy like Doug says great things about your book, you have to feel like the guy who got stopped by the CEO asking about the new suit. It’s easily enough to make your day. Doug left a five-star review on Goodreads.com for ‘Church of Golf’ and said: “Readers will truly care about how [the main character Donald Gibson] is going to become human because Stephens nimbly tells the story in imaginative language that draws on all five senses. Sparkly prose and a satisfying, uplifting message.” In an email he sent me after his review was written, he said “I wish to hell I had written that book.”

His review can be read right now at Goodreads.com. In late March/early April, it is scheduled to appear as part of his column at Libraryjournal.com.

Thanks, Doug, for taking the time to read ‘Church of Golf.’ The next time you’re in Maryland, I hope you’ll call me so I can take you out for a taste of Glenfiddich and, perhaps, a cigar rolled by a sultry, voluptuous Cuban tobacconist who had the foresight to dip her fingers into a saucer of Remy Martin VSOP.


Church of Golf and I will be at the Kensington, Maryland, book fair on Sunday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We will also be at the Bangor Book Festival in Bangor, Maine, on October 17 or 18 (date to be determined). If Stephen King is there, too, you will probably find me at his table.