Sunday, May 27, 2007

What are you reading this summer?!
don't know yet?
well, allow me to give you some suggestions...

Myself, i'm a big reader of actual books & unabridged audio, which i listen to in my studio as i work (another advantage of being self employed!)
I've spent most of the past year in the 1920s & have really, really enjoyed it. Here's how you could spend the summer in 1920s era Britian
For me, it happened like this:
i picked up, on eBay, a cheap unabridged audio book by Laurie King which is a revisiting of Sherlock Holmes, set in the 1920s. Sherlock Holmes is in his 60s & he's now married to a 20 year old who is his match in both intellect & cranky quirkiness. I love these characters & set out to read the whole series from scratch.
In one of them, Dorothy Sayer's sleuth, Lord Peter Whimsy, makes a cameo.
So, i tracked down some Dorothy Sayers books & loved them.
In one of those books, Lord Peter tells Bunter not to "go all Jeeves" on him. So now i'm reminded of Jeeves & Wooster & Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry's excellent take on them in the BBCs series from the 80s. I netflixed them & then i started reading PG Wodehouse: awesomely funny books also set in the 1920s & 30s,
It's so much fun to spend time with the original stories & great fun to see Hugh Laurie having fun in the TV series. (he's sooo serious in House these days)
I'm having so much fun mixing and matching Sayer's more serious sleuth & the really moving & sometimes emotionally wrenching Laurie King/ Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes books and then jumping over to Wodehouse when i need a complete comic break.
Between the three authors, it's a great way to spend the summer in 1920s era Britain!
Having seemingly started a novel with this post, let me recap:
if you haven't discovered Mary Russell (Laurie King's wife of Sherlock Holmes) well, what are you waiting for? If you enjoy mysteries, historic fiction, are an Anglophile &/or simply enjoy smart strong female protagonists, you NEED to read these books.
The first book in the series is The BeeKeeper's Apprentice.
The first Dorothy Sayers/Lord Peter book is Whose Body?.
And you can start anywhere with Wodehouse, though My Man Jeeves, or simply Jeeves are good places to find early Jeeves & Wooster stories.
Great good stuff. Brew up a nice cuppa & settle in for a great summer away!
And let me know if you enjoy the pairing of these 3 very different takes on a fascinating time & place as much as i have!
I've gotta go-- got another great book waiting!
~Virginia, huddled in the A/C avoiding the studio on Memorial Day weekend!
PS now it's your turn... what's on your summer reading list?!


Lauren said...

I have to recommend both Christopher Moore for bizarre modern humor, and Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series for literary humor.

I'm also a big fan of audio books and podcasts on my mp3 player.

Java Latte said...

i'm reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb.