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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
The Expendable Man - Dorothy B. Hughes I've read a lot of noir fiction/crime by such auhors as Raymond Chandler and James Cain, but this book was more satisfying and engaging than any I've read. Sadly, I'd never heard of Dorothy B Hughes despite the fact that she wrote some of the finest crime fiction of her (or our) day. She's now being rediscovered and this New York Review Books edition has an excellent afterward by fellow noir fiction author Walter Mosley, in which he says "She was among the best and her work belongs in our canon of classic American stories. Bringing her back is no act of nostalgia; it is a gateway through which we might access her particular view of that road between our glittering versions of American life and the darker reality that waits at the end of the ride." Written in 1963, this novel appears on the surface to be about a privileged, educated man who picks up a teen hitchhiker and how that one action causes his life to spin out of control. But underneath the sordid plot of crime and desperation, it's really about the assumptions we make about one another and ourselves and how the plans we make for the future can be so easily undone. I'd tell you more, but it would spoil the book. Whether you like Mad Men or The Postman Always Rings twice, you'll enjoy this tense, evocative story set in the Kennedy era, in Arizona. I plan to read all her books now.