To read or not to read?


As I wrote in my last blog entry, I’ve just finished reading John le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.  Prior to that I read a few –  okay, eight – Daniel Silva novels in a row.  As much as it pains me to say, I think I am a little spied out at the moment.

So, this bears the question:  What do I read next?  What am I in the mood for?

I have no idea.

I’ve been engulfed in academic reading for so long I’ve scarcely paid attention to what’s trending on the bestseller list.  I suppose I could pursue my nightstand for something.  On second thought, it seems my choices are limited:  Agatha Christie’s Murder in Mesopotamia, Lawrence Schiffman’s Qumran and Jerusalem:  Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism, Elaine Pagels’ Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books 9-11.

Doesn’t excite you either?

I’ve read the Agatha Christie a dozen times.  I know who killed poor Mrs. Leidner and Miss Johnson, and how Hercules Poirot brilliantly deduces the crimes.  After the semester I’ve had the last thing I want to read is scholarly works – Schiffman and Pagels are out.  And as I said above, I’m a little sick of the spy game right now.  I want something a bit more frivolous.  Something that doesn’t require too much thought.

So, what are the hip kids reading these days?

Fifty Shade of Grey.  Paranormal…everything.  Vampires and zombies and werewolves.

Oh my.

I’m going to take a pass on those for right now, because just the thought makes me want to put an ice pick in my brain.

I think it would be best to consult the experts over at Goodreads.

Here are a few on my recommendation page:

1.  Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn:  A psychological thriller with a missing wife and a suspicious husband.  Hmmm…this might have potential, though I am not sure I am in the mood for something so heavy.

2.  The Seventh Scroll – Wilbur Smith:  An archaeological adventure story set in Egypt – sort of an Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone.  Definitely different from my usual fare these days.

3.  Crocodile on the Sandbank (An Amelia Peabody adventure) – Elizabeth Peters:  I was skeptical about this Goodreads choice, but the consensus labels it a fun read.  Brain candy.  I could use a little brain candy.

4.  Cleopatra: A Life – Stacy Schiff:  Hmmm…I see a pattern evolving.  Goodreads thinks I need to go to Egypt.

5.  Gorky Park – Martin Cruz Smith:  I’ve seen the movie.  Loved it.  I count it as one of my favorite Cold War murder mysteries.  But, it is a little on the dark side.

Not recommended by Goodreads, but a book I downloaded to my Kindle a couple of weeks ago:

6.  Bound:  J. Elizabeth Hill:  I am actually in the process of reading this novel.  It comes from my WP friend over at Word Flows.  It’s her first publication and has received some great reviews.  I’ll be the first to admit magic and fantasy aren’t something I gravitate to when choosing reading material, but so far it’s a captivating and intriguing story.  Go check this one out for yourself.

So, what are you reading?  I’m open to suggestions.

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Author: Peggy Isaacs

This is me. Is that you?

10 thoughts on “To read or not to read?”

  1. Shameless plug here…how about my book? It’s gotten good reviews, including the NYT, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly and others…

    http://malledthebook.com/

    Or for a totally different experience, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (which I adored) and The Imperfectionists, which is magic. The first is also a movie and the second will soon be.

    1. No such thing as a shameless plug! I read a snippet of the first chapter and it looks like an interesting read. I will definitely check out the rest.

      I have seen the trailer for The Elegance of the Hedgehog (French film, right?) but never the movie. I did not know it was a book. I have never heard of The Imperfectionists, but it looks intriguing, as well. I will add them to my “to be read” list. Thank you so much!

  2. I don’t know any of these books on your list. I started reading Bound as well, but then my sister stopped me by taking away her Kindle. So selfish of her! I’m dying to read past the first chapter… I’ve you’re into light-hearted crime, you could try the Agatha Raisin books (that’s the name of the detective, not the author… can’t remember the author’s name at the moment…). And what about the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books (Alexander McCall Smith)? That’s theoretically a “crime” series, but it’s more about life and people and Botswana… They are some of my best go-to books when I need something that’s light and easy to read, but still has depth and intelligence. 🙂

    1. M.C. Beaton. I’ve never heard of these, but they look like fun. I will check them out. The Detective Agency was a series on HBO or Showtime (I can’t remember). I had no idea it was based on a book series. I enjoyed the show. I really liked that it involved characters and a culture you don’t often see – at least not in American television. Thank you!

      1. There’s a TV series?!?!?!? Wow. I had no idea. I know that the first book was made into a movie and I love that movie, but the books are even better! And he’s fabulous about getting you to feel the atmosphere of Botswana, the nature, the culture, the people…

  3. *Blush* Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I tend to think that a really good story should be accessible to a wide variety of people, even those who don’t traditionally read the genre, and I try to write with that in mind. 🙂

    As I’m mostly a fantasy reader myself, I’m not sure I could add much to your list though.

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