This post is a bit late. I was out last night, enjoying the launch of Juliet Blackwell's and Sophie Littlefield's latest books. We had a fabulous time at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclaire Village, Oakland. I love this store! And it was so fun to hang out with the other writers cheering our favorite gals on: Rachael Herron, Steve Hockensmith, and a name you'll hear more about soon, Terry Shames. It was a lovely night, as is any night spent talking about books.
I can think of three recent, favorite novels.
Hammett rocks my world. And I don't care if some of the prose styling is out of date. Just try writing a tighter, faster plot than Woman in the Dark, an early work of his, recently republished. If my novel were half that good, I would die happy. It's not a perfect book. But whenever I need to clear out my head from my own over-complicated, under-tense plots, I read a Hammett.
Mystic River. A surprisngly successful mix of mystery, suspense, and literary fiction, Dennis Lehane tapped into something amazing here. Plus reading this book makes me realize how incredibly easy life can be in California, compared to some parts of the Boston area. There's no denying the passion and clarity of the prose in this book.
I'm also a huge fan of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. You see, my husband is a graphic novelist and long time comics fan. I am neither of those things, so Michael Chabon's book helped me understand his world a little better. I'm not surprised the movie is so hard to get through development. It's at least four different movies in scope. Hollywood, if you want help with any one of them, call me!
Of course, naming just three novels immediately conjurs the legions of other favorite books, classics and trash competing equally for my affection. Hammett, Lehane, and Chabon have recently influenced me, so there you have it.
Three (of my) Favorite Books.