Are there any Martha Grimes/Richard Jury fans out there? Does it matter if I read her detective novels out of order? I have read some of Emma Graham novels (in order and I do mean to get back to those unread books in that series I have on my TBR pile). I want a 'proper' detective novel/police procedural, and while I know I should read Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, I am just not sure I am in the mood for it at the moment. I have been reading The Break Down by B.A. Paris, and while I am enjoying it, it is a novel of suspense and I can see where it is headed, if you know what I mean. I am feeling a little jaded with thrillers of late and think I need to get back to traditional mystery novels.
I also need to get back to my short story reading. I love short stories, and I miss them, as I have not been reading them with any sort of regularity this year. I know sometimes you need a break from a particular genre, and I have had one. Curiously I am feeling the need and desire to read short stories, but at the same time I can't seem to sit down with them. I guess I have just fallen out of the habit and I need and want to fall back into it! My friend Cath gave me a copy of John Burnside's Something Like Happy and I was reading it quite contentedly earlier this year, flying through the stories, but then it (as is so often the case with my reading) was just a sensory overload of books and something had to give, and sadly it was my short stories! I was also reading Tegan Bennett Daylight's Six Bedrooms for my Australian Literature summer reading project and things fizzled a bit somewhere in the middle. I was enjoying both books very much, so I think this weekend's reading is going to include both books and we'll see if I can find the magic of short stories once again.
And speaking of short stories, in reference to autumn RIP reading, I have pulled out my two volumes of Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature edited by Alberto Manguel. I return to these books every year as they are chunky volumes filled with all sorts of wild short story treats. Fantastic indeed--and that is in the bizarre and surreal sense. They are out of print, but if you go in for this sort of thing, they are well worth looking for and I am sure you can find inexpensive used copies. I want to try and read at least one story a weekend for my RIP reading.
On to the next related topic, and this is where the 'bookish add-ons' comes into play . . . I always make lists of books, but more often than not I end up reading something else entirely. Isn't this always the case? I have recently come across books that are very appealing and will fit in nicely with my current reading. So, while it is entirely likely I will still choose something from my RIP reading list, I have ordered a copy (and it should be arriving this weekend) of Carol Goodman's The Widow's House, which just sounded nicely atmospheric. I used to read all her books right when they were released, but I lapsed somewhere along the way. This is set in her usual upstate New York and has a crumbling estate and the sound of babies crying at night. I hope it is as good as I want it to be, and happily the reviews seem to be positive.
I am currently reading and much enjoying Jane Gardam's Bilgewater (and she is now one of those 'I want to read all her books' writers) for my September prompt. I might still pick another book from the pile, but my last bookstore visit netted Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Both books look like perfect stories with school settings and I can't wait to start reading both of them.
You can see where my weekend reading is going! And now for a few links to explore that caught my eye this week.
Thanks to Smithereens for the reminder that it is now the Season of Stories and I have signed up and hope to get those stories in my email inbox, too.
Last year I bought and read all the stories in the 2016 Short Story Advent Calendar (save the very last story . . .). I have signed up to get the update on the 2017 edition. (Yay).
Why is it I like bookish scenes involving food? It seems there is a proclivity of great detectives who are also obsessed (add in Frank Tallis's DI Oskar Reinhardt and Dr. Max Liebermann as the two Viennese are always drinking chocolate and eating pastries . . . maybe I need to pick up the next unread book in that series for a little detective goodness!).
Happy reading everyone. Hopefully your weekend will include some bookishness. I will be watching my mailbox for my next NYRB Classic and hopefully reading lots of short stories.