My bathside bookpile has grown enormously after my birthday - so excited to have the newest le Carré, A Delicate Truth on top. But I find myself uncharacteristically too distracted to dive in immediately to his elegantly bleak worldview, so I may need to check in instead with Salvo Montalbano in perpetually summery Sicily, in The Dance of the Seagull. For tropical splendor, there is also Graeme Kent's One Blood, the next in that Solomons Islands series although I seem to recall reading an interview with the author somewhere that left me a little unsettled about the series (I have a recollection of his coming across as a bit colonialist - but maybe my antennae were overtuned). If it is winter that I need for a break I could always pick up Detective Inspector Huss where I left off. I dropped it because it was kind of boring - everyone was so pleasant and it had a stilted quality that you sometimes find in translated works. Talking about winter, and cold, pretty much all year, I also started Melanie (M.J.) McGrath's The Long Exile, because I so enjoyed White Heat. The exile in question is a forced removal of Inuit from the eastern side of Hudson Bay well north to Ellesmere Island. I stopped reading after a while because I found it pretty dull, but it had a glowing review in the NYT in 2007, so maybe I should try again. The reviewer found it mesmerizing; must be something wrong with my glasses.
While stocking up at Porter Square Books for my son's camp session this year, I discovered Matthew Pearl's The Last Dickens in the sale box, as well as P.D. James' Talking About Detective Fiction. The latter should provide some good fodder for Crime Pays, and if nothing else, a brisk reminder of how really smart people think and write.
And these are just the books in the house; I have a long list going of things that I want to read that I haven't even laid my hands on yet. Damn this working business.
But how have I come this far and not read any of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels? Good god, this must be rectified immediately. It may require a trip to the library, since the Wolfe stories are many and old.
Wolfe reminds me that I'm starting to read a few food blogs regularly, too. I like David Lebovitz, and Dinner: A Love Story (although it veers close to cute at times). I read Smitten Kitchen even when it feels a little full of itself (does a book deal do that?), and My Little Expat Kitchen (she's Greek!). A recent discovery is the charming Miss Foodwise, who writes about British food (a whole article on a watercress farm - imagine!). And I just can't decide if I love or hate The Wednesday Chef. Mostly the former, and the latter is just jealousy of that damn perfect Italian place so get over it. That chicken curry with sweet potatoes was pretty good.