Talking about Detective Fiction - P. D. James

Summer is a good time for light reading; maybe a good mystery?  But before you delve into your next whodunit, take a short detour with P.D. James’s TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION (Vintage, $14), and you will gain a whole new appreciation for the form. James is enthusiastic and lively, asking what makes the mystery or, as she prefers, the “detective story” such an enduring genre? Why are we fascinated with the most horrific of all crimes, murder?   She takes you on a tour of the detective story from its earliest incarnations to the present, examining the “Golden Age” of British mysteries and comparing them with the hard-boiled stories from America.  As in her fiction, James’s writing is precise and thoughtful.  Reading this will make you want to revisit some of your old favorites: Sayers, Christie, Conan Doyle, Chandler—you’ll see them in a new light.

Talking About Detective Fiction By P. D. James Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307743138
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - May 3rd, 2011

A Reader on Reading - Alberto Manguel

Anyone who loves books will feel an immediate affection for A Reader On Reading (Yale Univ., $18). Alberto Manguel is a warm and graceful writer who considers himself first and foremost a reader. The sheer joy of holding, opening, contemplating, and recalling books comes through in everything he writes. No facet of literacy is too small or large for his attention; here are fascinating histories of the period, the page, and libraries, while the political pieces on repression and censorship make powerful arguments for the essential role freedom of reading plays in a society. Manguel’s appreciations of his favorite books, Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote (he also loves detective novels), are erudite and insightful, yet are less literary criticism than heartfelt recommendations. As every reader does with what he loves, he has made these books his own, and his essays demonstrate how reading, as much as writing, is autobiography, even as the books reciprocate, the cumulative readings bringing out their true character and giving them richer tones.

A Reader on Reading By Alberto Manguel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300172089
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Yale University Press - June 28th, 2011

Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction - Jake Silverstein

In his mid-twenties, after struggling (and failing) to become a poet, Jake Silverstein bought a used Toyota and drove to far-west Texas to try his hand at journalism. He reasoned that he would move to a place where nothing was happening, so that when something did happen, he’d be the only one there to write about it. NOTHING HAPPENED AND THEN IT DID (W.W. Norton, $14.95) chronicles Silverstein’s optimistic quests along the U.S.-Mexico border. The take? Half of Silverstein’s essays are fact and half are fiction. They’re all exquisitely observed dispatches from remote corners of the country, and slyly funny meditations on the art and act of writing.

Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction By Jake Silverstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393339949
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 16th, 2011