What books are on your nightstand right now?

I’ve been tagged for the Sisters in Crime SinC Up – September Blog Hop by Laurie Stevens, author of the fantastic Gabriel McRay thriller series — The Dark Before Dawn and Deep into Dusk.  Can’t wait for her next book!
The question that caught my eye on the Sisters in Crime list was “What books are on your nightstand right now?”  Okay, I thought, that’s easy.  I like that question.  Then I hesitated . . . wait just a minute . . . this is really much more personal that I had at first thought.  This is kind of like putting the contents of my underwear drawer out on the web.

BooksI mean what would other people think of this very personal pile of books?  I finally took a deep breath and decided to be completely honest.  So, here’s my list:

Dante’s Wood by Lynne Raimondo is on top of the pile because I’m reading it now. Lynne and I, even though we didn’t have a chance to really chat, were both debut authors at Thrillerfest in 2013 and I’m slowly working my way through all the debut books from our year It’s terrific by the way and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. More twists and turns than I can keep track of.

World’s End, a translated collection of the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Maybe it’s the translation or maybe it’s me, but it’s not really grabbing me. I’ll continue to try. Sorry, Mr. Neruda.

The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere, the second book in the Style and Error Mystery series. I love Diane’s style and I’m looking forward to reading her fast-paced cozy set in the fashion industry.

The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery by Bruce F. Murphy, published by St. Martin’s in 1962. A gift from my husband who loves to peruse the back shelves of old bookstores. This unbelievable compilation offers definitions of everything and everybody ever related to murder and mystery – from Aarons, Edward Sidney to Zubro, Mark Richard and lots in between. A magnum opus to be sure.

Charlotte au Chocolat, Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood by Charlotte Silver.  This was a gift from my daughter.  It’s a heartwarming and delightful book and I keep it by the bed so I can read it again.

Poisons and Poisoners by C.J. S. Thompson, with “Historical Accounts of Some Famous Mysteries in Ancient and Modern Times.”  Another gift from my husband. I guess he knows what makes my sox go up and down.

Murder on Sunset Boulevard, a Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles Chapter anthology edited by Rochelle Krich, Michael Mallory and Lisa Seidman. Wonderful short stories and I want to read them all again.

Women on the Edge – Forty-three monologues by Monique Carmona. I found this little book at the West Hollywood Book Fair a couple of years ago. It’s full of drama, comedy and serio-comedy.  I picked it up from the table that day and the first page I read grabbed me completely.  I just had to bring this book home.

LibraryImages of America – Larz Anderson Park.  Another sentimental find on a recent trip to Boston with pictures of a long-gone estate, now a park in which I played as a little girl.

Russian Roulette – A One Eyed Jack novel by Christopher J Lynch. Just bought this one and haven’t read it yet, but the first book about a blackmailing PI was a great read! I’ll get to it very soon.

The Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley. This one actually belongs to my daughter but I’ve promised myself for years that I would read this beautifully written book.  I’ve always been a fan of Mary Stewart too and loved The Crystal Cave. The Arthurian legend is a lot to digest but the writing simply flows beautifully. Problem is, it weighs a ton!

And last but not least: An Exaltation of Soups by Patricia Solley, a woman who must love soups as much as I do, with recipes from many cultures and countries.  How could I resist this book?  After all, I’m writing a mystery series set in a soup shop, but this author is a goddess of soups. Chapter One is called “The Origins and History of Soup.”

So that’s it.  I’ve been totally honest.  I thought perhaps I’d fib a little and list a whole bunch of erudite tomes, but that wouldn’t be fair, would it? Looking at my list, I guess it’s safe to say it’s heavily weighted in favor of murder, mayhem and crime. No high falutin’ literary fiction for me.  Nope.  There’s gotta be a body!

I’m tagging Sister in Crime Molly MacRae for the next stop on the blog hop. You’ll love her Haunted Yarn Mysteries.  And her next book, Plagued by Quilt, is out next month, November 2014.
Take it away, Molly!

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