Ed Goldberg, Reference librarian, shares some thoughts on books today:
On my nightstand now is: The book that’s been on my nightstand the longest (since 2007) is The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps: The Best Crime Stories from the Pulps During Their Golden Age–the ’20s, ’30s & ’40s edited by Otto Penzler. It is 1,024 pages of small print, 2 columns and narrow margins. Finishing the book is my lifetime goal, but it will be well worth it. The stories are great. I typically take it on vacation with me. I have the DVD of the old movie Laura and the book by Vera Caspary, on which it is based. The differences between the book and movie are interesting. Additionally I have In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff, The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose, The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka, Runaway Black by Ed McBain, So Like Sleep by Jeremiah Healey and Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow by John Mortimer.
Last book read: The last book I read was 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly. I’ve liked Connelly for a long time and his Harry Bosch series is always good reading. It’s police procedural with a touch of family and camaraderie. Connelly has created several other great characters, such as Jack McEvoy, a reporter, Michael Haller, an attorney who works out of the back of his Lincoln town car, Terry McCaleb, a former FBI agent and Rachel Walling, a current agent. He’s beginning to introduce these characters into multiple series.
Favorite book of all time: The Source by James Michener. I’ve read The Source two or three times, but not for a while now. Michener’s premise that as you dig through archeological layers you can determine how civilizations viewed God and religion is just fascinating to me.
Top three authors: Thomas H. Cook, John Dunning and Pat Conroy.
Thomas Cook, a Cape Cod resident, writes mysteries that have a very ethereal, cloudy aura around them. The Chatham School Affair, purchased in Chatham on Cape Cod started me as a fan and I’ve read all of his books since.
John Dunning writes mysteries with an antiquarian bookseller (former policeman), Cliff Janeway, as a protagonist. There’s a lot of action in his books and there’s always a literary subplot somewhere in the book. Dunning is also an expert on old time radio and his Two O’clock Eastern Wartime, a departure from his Janeway series, builds on this expertise.
Finally, I’ve recently been introduced to Pat Conroy’s books and became an immediate fan. His descriptive writing and storyline just draw you in.
Perfect beach reads: Two series that are great beach reads are Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series about a dysfunctional family of private detectives and Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series, A is for Alibi, etc. about Kinsey Millhone, a private detective in California.