PUBLICATIONS

Bestsellers & Award Winners

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WALKS WITH SAM

"A timeless phenomenon splendidly explored and revealed in his wise and insightful Walks with Sam, a moving memoir about how a young dog can teach an old man new tricks about mindfulness and presence. Hard to remember when I've enjoyed a walk with two friends more." —James Dodson, New York Times best-selling author of Faithful Travelers and Final Rounds. 

                                          

"Berner’s plainspoken manner reveals moments of true enlightenment. Dog lovers and spiritualists will adore this."

Publishers Weekly

Roundfire Books, UK

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THINGS BEHIND THE SUN

Martin Gregory believes he has one last shot at emotionally connecting with the son he adopted seventeen years ago from the only woman he ever loved. A long road trip, he believes, could be the answer. But the boy has other ideas as the two of them navigate the past and contemplate the future during a summer journey through the American West.


The trip uncovers long-held secrets—both Martin's and his son's—and becomes an exploration of whether the deep emotions that brought them together in the first place are more important than what could tear them apart. Things Behind the Sun is an inspired coming-of-age story about the powerful, complicated, yet enduring bond between fathers and sons. (A follow-up to the award-winning A Well-Respected Man.)

Adelaide Books, NY/Lisbon

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A WELL-RESPECTED MAN

SOCIETY OF MIDLAND AUTHORS HONOREE, 2019 -- Adult Fiction

Chicago Professor Martin Gregory is the author of a critically acclaimed novel of love and longing, a cult favorite among women. The book brings him unexpected status and prestige, but also unwelcome fame.

A love affair with one of his students derails his career and breaks his heart. Coming to terms with a life knocked off balance, Martin retreats to a quiet English village, only to be confronted at his flat by a mystery woman with an unexpected message and an implausible request, one that could alter his life forever.

A Well-Respected Man is about the hard choices we make to find fulfillment, and the search to discover meaning in both the life we choose and the one thrust upon us.

Strategic Books, NY

 
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ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE

CHICAGO WRITERS ASSOCIATION "BOOK OF THE YEAR" AWARD—Indie Nonfiction.

In the best tradition of the great American memoir, Any Road Will Take You There is honest, unflinching, and tender. The author—a middle-age father—takes the reader on a five-thousand-mile road trip, the one he always wished he’d taken as a young man. Recently divorced and uncertain of the future, he rereads the iconic road story: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and along with his two sons and his best friend, heads for the highway to rekindle his spirit.

Dream of Things Publishing, Chicago

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OCTOBER SONG

WINNER GRAND PRIZE FOR LITERATURE,  Royal Dragonfly Awards
FINALIST IN MEMOIR, American Book Fest BEST BOOK AWARDS.

In the vinyl era, David W. Berner played rock 'n' roll in a neighborhood garage band. Decades later at the age of 57 he enters a national songwriting contest and quite unexpectedly is named a finalist. He's called on to perform the song live at a storied venue for Americana music. Grabbing his old guitar and the love of his life, David hits the road, hoping to live out a musical fantasy he thought had been buried long ago. 


October Song is a powerful examination of the passage of time, love, the power of music, and the power of dreams.

Roundire Books, UK

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THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS

A memoir-in-essays, this unique memoir is a mosaic of the experience of searching for one's place in the world.


David W. Berner recalls a solo and revealing cross-country train ride, a spiritual awakening in the Navajo Nation, performs music with Jack Kerouac groupies at the writer's former Florida home, and hunts for the ghost of Ernest Hemingway in the attic of the famous writer's birthplace home. He revisits his parent's lifelong love affair with their hometown and one another despite life-threatening odds, and sets out to build a Thoreau-like writer's shed, hoping to discover an artistic space and an artist's home. 

The Consequence of Stars is a touching narrative about dreams, life choices, and the eternal search for home.


Adelaide Books, NY/Lisbon

 
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THERE'S A HAMSTER IN THE DASHBOARD

CHICAGO BOOK REVIEW — BEST BOOKS OF 2015: Nonfiction


HONOREE AT THE CHICAGO WRITERS ASSOCIATION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS 

This book of essays is the next best thing to storytelling around a bonfire. David W. Berner shares stories of “a life in pets”—from a collie that herds Berner home when the author goes “streaking” through the neighborhood as a two-year-old, to a father crying in front of his son for one of the only times in his life while burying the family dog on the Fourth of July. Plus, an ant farm that seems like a great learning experience until the ants learn how to escape, and the hamster that sets out on its own road trip only to get as far as the dashboard of the family car.


The book is an endearing collection of essays that is insightful, humorous, entertaining, and touching.

Dream of Things Publishing, Chicago

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NIGHT RADIO

"Lyrical, philosophical, poetic ... Night Radio: A Love Story is all of that and more. This touching novel had me both laughing out loud and brushing away tears, thanks to a colorful cast of compelling characters who prove that it's never too late to come of age." —Kelli Christiansen, Chicago Book Review


"Night Radio adds a unique and valuable dimension to today's literary fiction by combining a gripping plot with a deep character study and a haunting, thought-provoking narrative." —Windy City Reviews


"An emotional and powerful story about the connections we make and the connections we lose. A novel as irresistible as those old records we played over and over." —Lin Brehmer, WXRT Radio, Chicago

A truly American story of unwavering heart and soul. Jake Mulholland dreams of becoming the next great rock 'n' roll radio personality. But like his father, his appetite for love conflicts with his thirst for success, leading to an unforgivable mistake. Jake finds fame but also the excess of celebrity, and just as he begins to rediscover his authentic self, he's shaken by the news of a life-altering secret. 

Writer Shed Press, Chicago

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ACCIDENTAL LESSONS

GRAND PRIZE FOR LITERATURE, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards.

The author takes the reader inside his own personal journey; a heart wrenching and inspirational account of self-discovery. Berner had it all—a successful career as a broadcast journalist and a wonderful family life. But his career falters and he finds himself out of work. His father becomes terminally ill and his marriage falls apart.


In the middle of painful personal times, he makes a personal decision that changes his life forever—he becomes a rookie teacher at a public school outside Chicago where the students are representations of society's "throw-aways." What he learns from them teaches him invaluable lessons about himself, and why he became a journalist in the first place - to seek out the truth and give voice to those who have none.

Strategic Books, NY