Okay, so probably more than just a few for later, but let's start with this weekend's reading. I will only say I am going to be looking for nice cool places to read inside and out of the heat as it has well and truly arrived where I live. I get cranky in such oppressively warm conditions to best just to escape into the pages of a book and some other more exciting world!
This is how my bookish mind sometimes works. One of the deciding factors when it comes to the order in which to read my in progress books sometimes has to do with the fact there is another book I want to start reading and it is either by the same author or just some other random book that I am making myself wait to pick up until I finish something else. Actually this doesn't sound strange at all and I bet lots of other readers do the same thing. So it is often a matter of which book am I closest to finishing.
Top of my reading pile this weekend is Deborah Moggach's A Quiet Drink. I loved her novel In the Dark and decided I needed to read all of (and therefore own . . .) the rest of her works. I started out with Katharine McMahon and then took a little detour with Deborah Moggach thinking I would pick up another of her many books I own, but now I am sort of feeling a detour along the path to Mary Wesley's novels (who I've read a lot of but it's been a while so maybe time to revisit/return to). We'll see how it goes, but first to finish A Quiet Drink which is a story of "marital frustration", but no worries since it is a social comedy so all rather lightly done.
I started reading Ken Follett's Fall of Giants (the first book of three) longer ago than I care to admit. I was happily reading along and got caught up on a WWI battlefield scene that I just couldn't seem to get past. Then I borrowed an ebook version from the library and started reading it at the gym and now have less than 250 pages left to go. While that might sound like a lot really--like reading a whole novel, the book weighs in at well over 900 pages (mass market small print . . .) so I am just flying now. I don't think I'll finish this weekend but not for lack of trying. So I switch back and forth between my paper copy and the ebook version depending on where I am and what I am doing. I might even think of picking up the second volume soon.
I've also been very caught up in Laura Wilson's Hello Bunny Alice which is very good and reminiscent of the best of Barbara Vine's (Ruth Rendell) psychological thrillers. Wilson also writes a detective series set in WWII London which I'd like to try. The story is one I like best when it comes to crime fiction--a murder or mystery that happened in someone's past comes back to haunt them later. So it is a slow burn with facts being revealed as the protagonist recalls events, in this case-her, former life. Alice was a "bunny" girl in the 1970s and her lover from the time hung himself. Then a car is pulled from a lake that has a body in it. That of a woman. Well, I'll tell you more about it later. Curious? I know I am which means I am turning the pages quickly.
I will also be reading my short stories. I might throw in a few others if time allows. I was given early access to the forthcoming 2016 volume of the O. Henry Prize Stories, which were recently announced and will be collected into this volume come fall.
I'm sure those will keep me busy enough though I might dip into Teffi's memoirs or my Penelope Lively as well. I have to be honest about my NYRB read . . . Teffi is interesting but the book is slow going. Much more so than I anticipated or I have just hit a slow spot. I did read a few of her essays in a different volume and quite liked those. The book of memoirs is something I enjoy reading when I pick up except I tend to want to reach for something else instead.
As for the later books?
In one case later has turned into sooner. I have picked up Dorothy B. Hughes's In a Lonely Place. I mentioned the film adaptation and the book recently, and when Caroline told me she had just read it and I read her review I caved in and picked it up. I think it is going to be very good. Very atmospheric--set in 1940s Los Angeles--moody fog and a story told from the point of view of a killer. It was written in 1942, so I think there won't be gratuitous violence and it will be more psychological than anything--just as I like.
I am impatiently waiting for my June NYRB, which I think really should have arrived now but hasn't yet . . . Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel, which I have wanted to read and was thrilled to see would be reissued by NYRB (my fingers were crossed it would be a subscription book and indeed it is).
And I still really want to read Jill Dawson's Lucky Bunny and W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage. So, basically this list is still very much in play and maybe I should print it out and keep it close by?
The scary thing is that I could actually go on and tell you about all the other books that seem to have crossed my mind this week when it comes to books that I want to read or that have lately caught my eye, but look how long I've chattered on about books as it is.
Better now to think about Deborah Moggach, Laura Wilson, Ken Follett and more good stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner! They will be my companions this hot and humid weekend. I think they will be sufficiently entertaining to keep my mind off the heat. I hope so anyway.