Do you ever have bookish cravings? I have them all the time. Maybe I should explain what I mean by cravings. Not so much a desire to acquire new books (though I have those sorts of cravings all the time), but a desire to read a particular type of story. It seems there are search engines out there where you can pop in a title and they'll tell you what you should read next . . . a readalike?
This is what I have in mind. A story of suspense. Female protagonist. Setting would be prewar Europe. The heroine finds herself mixed up in something of that's dangerous and a little beyond her experience, but she's not one to back down from a challenge. Maybe something a little political, definitely along the lines of a spy story. Think 1930s. Glamour. A story that you could imagine translating onto the silver screen and of course filmed in B&W.
Now, if I hadn't already read Ethel Lina White's The Lady Vanishes, that would be just the ticket. Or even The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars (though Lady Diana Wynham's secretary Gerard has all the "fun") would do quite nicely. But something new to me is preferable. Something written in the 30s would be a first choice, but maybe there is a more contemporary novel written about the era that would satisfy my desire. Why does nothing come to mind?
I know there are loads of spy novels out there and I've even got a list or two, but the books tend to be heavy with male protagonists. I seem to return to this genre quite often, don't I? Maybe I should go back to Helen MacInnes or "settle" for a John Buchan?
Here's my other scenario. Yes, I've got two. Last year I read a book called Losing Nicola by Susan Moody. It was a good novel, not perfect, but I liked the premise. A coming of age story, a seaside setting of postwar England, another story of suspense and murder (though not espionage this time around). I hate to think I like reading the same story over and over, but I guess I sort of do--at least occasionally. When you have a good experience you want to repeat it, right? Maybe not one book after another of the same sort, but enough time has passed that the stories come back to mind and I've got a bookish whim to read something along those same lines.
Now it's not as though I don't have plenty of satisfying reads on the go right now or anything. I do. I'm very much enjoying a number of books at the moment. And I have four books that I am trying very hard to finish before I go on vacation (which is two weeks from today--quickly approaching--by the way), but when I have these whims, there is nothing for it but to give in to them.
Yes, this is what I do at the gym when I am using weights and can't have a book in hand. I start thinking about other books. Gym time comes after work, and it is my "down time", time to think about what I want to do in my leisure moments. It's a given that these moments turn to books, right? I know I should break myself of the habit of thinking about other books when I am in the middle of something good (it almost feels a little bit disloyal). I should learn to focus more. Sigh.
But I'm still happy to take any recommendations you have to offer!
By the way, I am very nearly already in vacation mode. I still have a couple of books that I'd like to write about, but I (as you see) had other distractions tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about a book I recently finished (and liked very much) or maybe I'll save them for the weekend when I have more time to spend writing the posts. Posting in general may be a little sporadic (and probably like tonight a little uninspired), but it seems my mind is in about twenty places at once right now (and not enough time to devote to any one thing like I'd like to). Assure me you know how that goes!