One of the perks of being a writer is that people often ask me what I'm reading. Nothing pleases me more than to recommend a book I've enjoyed. (This is far easier than answering another frequently asked question: "What's your favorite book of all time?" I've learned to answer that with, "It changes every week," because that's the truth.)
I have a Book & Blog column on my website, and I regularly list the books I've read. My goal is to write a column every week, but that hasn't happened with much regularity in the past few months. However, I tell readers what I've read lately and what I thought about it -- if I enjoyed it. There's no point in trashing other writers' work, especially not in public. We get enough of that as it is.
Recently, I was asked to contribute to a project I could really sink my metaphorical teeth into. John Connolly and Declan Burke assembled a massive work called "Books to Die For." Each writer contacted was asked to write a short piece about a mystery he/she thought was important to the development of the genre. After some soul-searching, I decided to write about Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male (1939), and I'm glad I did. Household is not much read now, but he wrote some amazing novels, and I was glad to reread Rogue Male.
I'm not writing to celebrate my own short piece in this book, published by the UK's Hodder and Stoughton, but to say that now that I've received my author copy, I've become fascinated by the selections of other writers. (I'm going to count how many of the recommended books I've read myself.) There are about 200 listings, one or more for every year between 1841 and 2008.
Now, there's a challenging reading list.